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Informatics 2016, 3(1), 1; doi:10.3390/informatics3010001

Developing a Model of Distributed Sensemaking: A Case Study of Military Analysis

Interaction Design Centre, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT, UK
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Academic Editors: Kamran Sedig and Paul Parsons
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 13 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human–Information Interaction)
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Abstract

In this paper, we examine the role of representational artefacts in sensemaking. Embodied within representational media, such as maps, charts and lists, are a number of affordances, which can furnish sensemakers with the ability to perform tasks that may be difficult to do inside the head. Presented here is a study of sensemaking in action. We conducted a study of military intelligence analysts carrying out a training exercise, the analysis of which focuses on the use of external task-specific representations. We present a discussion of the findings of our study in the form of a model of distributed sensemaking. Our model concentrates on the interaction of information and various representational artefacts, leading to the generation of insights and a situation picture. We also introduce a number of levels of description for examining the properties and affordances offered by representational artefacts and their role in the sensemaking process. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensemaking; distributed cognition; thinking and reasoning; information behaviour; visual representations sensemaking; distributed cognition; thinking and reasoning; information behaviour; visual representations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wheat, A.; Attfield, S.; Fields, B. Developing a Model of Distributed Sensemaking: A Case Study of Military Analysis. Informatics 2016, 3, 1.

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