Configuration Work and the Escalier System

Speaker: Mark Ackerman , University of Michigan

Date: Friday, April 27, 2012

Time: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Refreshments: 3:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil/Kiva Seminar Room (32-G449)

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Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Juho Kim, 6507969759,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Configuration Work and the Escalier System

If ubicomp is to come into being, user issues in the dense ecology of
computational services will become paramount. In this talk, I argue
that there is a new kind of interactional work coming to the
foreground, configuration work - the work that is involved in keeping
systems running, running together, and running over time. This is
work we do now but is largely invisible and unremarkable; in the
future, it may be overwhelming.

One way to deal with this problem is have proprietary stovepipes.
Another is to automate the process. The first does not provide an open
systems solution, and the second is likely to remain brittle. As
another line of attack on the problem, I present Escalier, a system we
are developing that uses social computing techniques to help people
with their configuration work. Using system configurations gathered
from the crowd, the Escalier system can help users know what
configurations are stable and reasonable. Escalier creates a Bayesian
map of the crowd's settings, but also contains an expertise layer to
know which crowd members to trust. In this talk, I will argue for
configuration work, and then provide an overview of our work on
Escalier and its applications.

Mark Ackerman is a Professor in the Department of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science and in the School of Information
at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His major research area is
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), primarily Computer-Supported
Cooperative Work (CSCW). He has published widely in HCI and CSCW,
investigating collaborative information access in online knowledge
communities, medical settings, expertise sharing, and most recently,
pervasive environments. Mark is a member of the CHI Academy.

Previously, Mark was a faculty member at the University of
California, Irvine, and a research scientist at MIT's Laboratory
for Computer Science (now CSAIL). Before becoming an academic,
Mark led the development of the first home banking system, had
three Billboard Top-10 games for the Atari 2600, and worked on
the X Window System's first user-interface widget set. Mark has
degrees from the University of Chicago, Ohio State, and MIT.

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Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:24 AM.