The 2006 International Symposium on Collaborative Technologies and Systems (CTS 2006)

In Technical Cooperation with
The IEEE Computer Society
Technical Committee on Parallel Processing (TCPP) and
Task Force on Human Centered Information Systems (TFHIS)
The IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetic Society (SMCS)

Keynote Speeches

Monday Keynote Human Computing
Sandy (Alex) Pentland html pdf Notes

Tuesday Keynote Can Collaborative Systems "think"? Insights Gleaned from Looking at Collaborative Systems as Cognitive Systems
Christine A. Halverson html pdf Notes

Wednesday Keynote Semantic Web Services: Where Are We Headed?
David L. Martin html pdf Notes


Human Computing

Sandy (Alex) Pentland

Director of Human Dynamics Research
Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
The Media Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


A surprisingly large fraction of human decision making --- almost half --- is a function of the largely unconscious `social signaling' that typifies face-to-face interaction. These signals pro-vide our sense of intentions and attitudes, providing the answers to questions like: is she inter-ested? is he going to be flexible in negotiation? is he a 'team member'? In recent years my col-laborators and I have developed automatic computer tools for measuring these signals, and are now building them into collaborative systems. In this talk, I will describe the evidence, the tools, and on-going efforts to make collaborative systems socially aware.


Papers and other material are available at


Prof. Alex (Sandy) Pentland is a pioneer in wearable computers, health systems, smart environ-ments, and technology for developing countries. He is one of the most-cited computer scientists in the world. He is a co-founder of the Wearable Computing research community, the Autono-mous Mental Development research community, the Center for Future Health, and was the founding director of the Media Lab Asia. He was formerly the Academic Head of the MIT Me-dia Laboratory, and is MIT's Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Director of Human Dynamics Research.

Professor Pentland has won numerous international awards in the Arts, Sciences and Engineering. He was chosen by Newsweek as one of the 100 Americans most likely to shape the next century.

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Can Collaborative Systems "think"?
Insights Gleaned from Looking at Collaborative Systems as Cognitive Systems

Christine A. Halverson

Social Computing Group
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Yorktown Heights, New York


Collaborative systems are both technical and social. As a field, or rather a set of interacting disciplines, we have made great strides in almost all aspects of technological support for collaboration. Better connectivity makes narrowing the distance between people almost effortless-whether they are two buildings over, across the world, or in the same place at a different time. What remains a major question is how well it all works. Not just the technology, or just the social aspects, but the combination of the two. How does a collaborative system translate to the people and the tasks they do, and how the technology brings them together?

In this talk we look at human-technical systems as essentially distributed cognitive systems. That viewpoint provides useful insights into how such socio-technical systems are (or are not) working and how changes in process, technology and procedure have impact. Illustrations and examples are drawn from a decade of research in domains as varied as Air Traffic Control, online work groups, technical help desks and parallel programming. In the end we take a step back to look at how trends in past collaborative systems can be (re)applied to current ones.


Christine A. Halverson is a Research Staff Member in Social Computing at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center. Her current work involves studying programmers engaged in High End Computing. In general she is interested in understanding collaborative work, with and without technology support. This includes looking more deeply at conceptual issues such as organizational memory, for which she was awarded an NSF grant with University of Michigan Professor Mark Ackerman for a two-year field study. In the past she has done a variety of work in human-computer interaction including social aspects of interfaces with and without characters, speech supported interfaces, and multi-modal interfaces. Work in analyzing speech user interfaces with colleagues at Watson won them the Brian Shakel Award for Best paper at Interact 99.

Christine holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego for a dissertation on the cognitive system of air traffic control. She is the author of papers in the fields of HCI and CSCW and on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work. She has served on conference committees for CSCW, CHI, DIS and GROUP. She was Technical Papers Co-chair for ACM's CSCW 2004 ("Computer-Supported Cooperative Work") conference and is Technical Papers Co-Chair for the upcoming GROUP'07 conference.

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Semantic Web Services: Where Are We Headed?

David L. Martin

Senior Computer Scientist
Artificial Intelligence Center
SRI International Menlo Park, California


The Semantic Web is many things: an ambitious vision for the future of the Internet; a lively research area; a set of standards activities at the World Wide Web Consortium; a technology base of Web-oriented knowledge representation languages, reasoners, and tools; and a growing collection of shared ontologies, knowledge bases, collaborative activities and communities supported by these technologies. The potential of the Semantic Web goes well beyond its applications to information discovery and querying. In particular, it encompasses the automation of Web-based activities and Web-accessible devices as well. When it becomes widespread, the ability to deploy, discover, and use online processing resources and devices, in an significantly automated fashion, will likely be viewed as a major transformation of the Web. Semantic Web services technology is the embodiment of this developing trend.

Work on Semantic Web Services is complementary (to a degree) with commercial work on Web services, and provides greater expressiveness in describing services in a way that software agents can reason about. This reasoning, in turn, can support more powerful and more fully automated approaches to Web service tasks such as service discovery, selection, invocation, execution, composition, monitoring, and recovery. This presentation will explain the concepts embodied in Semantic Web Services, show how it ties in with developing industry standards, and discuss some existing applications. A perspective will be given on the status of work in this field, tools under development to support its use, and next steps towards realizing its promise.


David Martin is a researcher in the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International, where he has been on the research staff since 1994. He has worked extensively in the field of agent-based systems, and was one of the principal designers of the Open Agent Architecture (OAA). He has also worked in the fields of software design environments, natural language processing, and Semantic Web. He was a Principal Investigator for SRI's DAML (DARPA Agent Markup Language) project, and served as chair of the research coalition that developed OWL-S, a service description language for the Semantic Web. He is also co-chair of the language subcommittee of The Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI).

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