Seminar Prof Chengzheng Sun
Collaborative Computing on the Internet: Opportunities and Challenges
13/07/2007, Location: Caulfield
Presenter: Professor Chengzheng Sun School of Computer Engineering Nanyang Technological Univ, Singapore
Abstract: Internet is at the core of information revolution which changes the way we communicate, work, learn, do business, and play. A major trend is to use the Internet to enhance human-to-human communication, interaction, and collaboration. In over 10 years, we have been researching and developing technologies and applications that allow multiple users to edit shared text/graphics/image/multimedia/CAD/CASE documents at the same time over the Internet. These systems are not only useful applications in their own right, but also serve as research vehicles for exploring a range of challenging issues in building advanced collaborative applications. One such issue is consistency maintenance of shared documents under the constraints of high responsiveness, high concurrency, and high communication latency in the Internet environment.
In the first part of my talk, I shall show why existing consistency criteria and concurrency control techniques in traditional distributed applications are not suitable to Internet-based collaborative applications. Then, I shall present a collaborative consistency model consisting of three properties - causality preservation, convergence, and intention preservation. Moreover, an optimistic concurrency control technique, named operational transformation (OT), shall be discussed. In the second part, I shall report our work on integrating state-of-the-art collaborative technology (e.g. OT) into commercial off-the-shelf single-user applications without making any change to the original application. We have converted Microsoft Word and PowerPoint into CoWord and CoPowerPoint (), which support multiple users to view and edit the same documents at the same time over the Internet. We are currently working toward a new generation of collaborative technologies and applications that will unify single-user and multi-user applications, desktop and web-based applications, real-time and non-real-time collaborative applications, and provide all-dimension scalability and all-round interaction experiences to users.
Speaker biographies: Dr Chengzheng Sun is a professor in the School of Computer Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore (). Before joining NTU, he worked at Griffith University in Australia as a lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor, and professor (1999) from May 1993 to June 2005. He obtained his first Ph.D degree in computer engineering from National University of Defense Technology, China in 1987, and a second PhD degree in computer science from University of Amsterdam in 1992. From 1988 to 1993, he worked as a research scientist and a senior software engineer in University of Amsterdam, Philips Research Labs Eindhoven, and the ACE software company in The Netherlands.
His current research lies at the intersections of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, distributed systems and computer networks, human-computer interaction, and software engineering. Major applications of his research include: collaborative office productivity tools, digital media design tools, computer-aided design and software engineering tools, and virtual environments. His work has made important contributions to the theory and practical implementation of collaborative systems. He has published extensively in major international journals and conferences, and delivered seminars and tutorials on collaborative technology widely at major international conferences, research institutes, and universities.