Workshop on Computer Mediated Social Sense-Making

14th February 2013

School of Informatics
Edinburgh University.

Position statements due 18th January 2012 (See below)

‘Computer Mediated Social Sense-Making’  is a specialised form of Social Computation [1] that pertains where diverse non co-located human expertise and machine processing are combined to enable data to be interpreted effectively to support a range of tasks taking place in different contexts.

This workshop aims to contribute to the development of  the concept of cmSocial Sense-Making as a coherent  research area by exploring the theoretical, methodological and computational approaches that can be brought to bear on problems of achieving blends of data and expertise to interpret complex data sets or data streams.

Examples of important CMCSM application areas include:

  • Telemonitoring: Remote monitoring of chronic conditions promises to help manage the extensive healthcare demands of an ageing population. However Physiological data gathered in the home but interpreted by remote clinicians often leads to high False Positive rates [2]. How can patients, relatives and carers be enabled to supplement physiological data with missing contextual detail to improve the quality of remote interpretation [3]?
  • Data curation: Data is an increasingly seen as a valuable commodity to be mined over and again to solve problems beyond those for which it was originally collected. However, without access to the context of its production our ability to re-purpose data is degraded, moreover data users generate insights about data quality and utility but which are often neither accumulated  nor shared [4]. How can tools enable access to originating contexts and capitalise on the expertise that is created when data is used in order to increase the value of data archives for the wider community of users?
  • Validation of scientific models: Computational models make strong contributions to policy formation and scientific advance, often in economically important or politically contentious arenas such as climate change. However, effective interpretation of model results for scientific advance and policy formation often requires access to non-local domain expertise. (This is similar to other ‘data analysis’ tasks where data interpretations are crowd-sourced [5].) How can collaborative interpretations be facilitated by shareable, annotatable data representations?

Position statements are invited on the following workshop topic areas:

  • What are the defining questions for current work in cmSocial Sense-Making?
  • How can we identify application areas that lend themselves to cmSocial Sense-Making?
  • What conceptual frameworks or theoretical approaches are relevant to cmSocial Sense-Making?
  • What are the usability considerations in creating cmSocial Sense-Making applications and how can existing frameworks in HCI and CSCW be brought to bear?
  • What legal, ethical or regulatory issues are relevant for cmSocial Sense-Making?
  • How might cmSocial Sense-Making implementations be evaluated?
  • What types of algorithm are effective at combining data from multiple heterogeneous data streams to underpin cmSocial Sense-Making?
  • What types of infrastructures and applications can support cmSocial Sense-Making?
  • What impacts do cmSocial Sense-Making solutions have on working divisions of interpretative labour, responsibility and accountability?
  • What formal logics might model the behaviour of a cmSocial Sense-Making approach?
  • How can cmSocial Sense-Making applications be designed to motivate participation?

Position statements should be no longer than one side of A4. These will be reviewed by the workshop organisers and in the event of over-subscription statements will be accepted to give the broadest coverage of workshop topics. Attendees will be required to give a short presentation outlining their position. The workshop will aim to balance presentations with plenary sessions and opportunities for networking.

Please send your position statements to: by
18th January 2013.

The workshop will be held at the School of Informatics, Edinburgh University and will be free to attend.

Workshop committee:

Mark Hartswood
Maria Wolters
Jenny Ure
Stuart Anderson
Michael Rovatsos
Marina Jirotka
Alex Voss

[1] Michael Kearns, Experiments in Social Computation, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 55 No. 10, Pp 56-67

[2] Ure J, Pinnock H, Hanley J, Kidd G, McCall Smith E, Tarling A, Pagliari C, Sheikh A, MacNee W, McKinstry B. Piloting tele-monitoring in COPD: a mixed methods exploration of issues in design and implementation. Prim Care Respir J 2012;21(1):57-64. DOI:

[3] Oudshoorn N (2008) Diagnosis at a distance: the invisible work of patients and healthcare professionals in cardiac telemonitoring technology. Sociology of Health and Illness. 30(2) 272-288.

[4] Hartswood M, Procter R, Taylor P, Blot L, Anderson S, Rouncefield M and Slack R. Problems of data mobility and reuse in the provision of computer-based training for screening mammography. In: CHI ’12 Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York: ACM. 2012. p. 909-918.

[5] Willet W, Heer J and Agrawala M (2012) Strategies for Crowdsourcing Social Data Analysis. CHI’12 , May 5–10, 2012, Austin, Texas, USA.


One thought on “Workshop on Computer Mediated Social Sense-Making

  1. Pingback: Milestones Part 2 — My first workshop as an academic « Leisurely Seeking Doctorate

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