Open AccessArticle
Visualizing 3D Terrain, Geo-Spatial Data, and Uncertainty
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/informatics4010006 -
Abstract
Visualizing geo-spatial data embedded into a three-dimensional terrain is challenging. The problem becomes even more complex when uncertainty information needs to be presented as well. This paper addresses the question of how to visually communicate all three aspects: the 3D terrain, the geo-spatial
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Visualizing geo-spatial data embedded into a three-dimensional terrain is challenging. The problem becomes even more complex when uncertainty information needs to be presented as well. This paper addresses the question of how to visually communicate all three aspects: the 3D terrain, the geo-spatial data, and the data-associated uncertainty. We argue that visualizing all aspects with a high degree of detail will likely exceed the visual budget. Therefore, we propose a visualization strategy based on prioritizing a selected aspect and presenting the remaining two with less detail. We discuss various design options that allow us to obtain differently prioritized visual representations. Our approach has been implemented as a tool for rapid visualization prototyping in the context of avionics applications. Practical solutions are described for a use case related to the visualization of 3D terrain and uncertain weather data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Motivation and User Engagement in Fitness Tracking: Heuristics for Mobile Healthcare Wearables
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/informatics4010005 -
Abstract
Wearable fitness trackers have gained a new level of popularity due to their ambient data gathering and analysis. This has signalled a trend toward self-efficacy and increased motivation among users of these devices. For consumers looking to improve their health, fitness trackers offer
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Wearable fitness trackers have gained a new level of popularity due to their ambient data gathering and analysis. This has signalled a trend toward self-efficacy and increased motivation among users of these devices. For consumers looking to improve their health, fitness trackers offer a way to more readily gain motivation via the personal data-based insights the devices offer. However, the user experience (UX) that accompanies wearables is critical to helping users interpret, understand, gain motivation and act on their data. Despite this, there is little evidence as to specific aspects of fitness tracker user engagement and long-term motivation. We report on a 4-week situated diary study and Healthcare Technology Self-efficacy (HTSE) questionnaire assessment of 34 users of two popular American fitness trackers: JawBone and FitBit. The study results illustrate design implications and requirements for fitness trackers and other self-efficacy mobile healthcare applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Player–Game Interaction and Cognitive Gameplay: A Taxonomic Framework for the Core Mechanic of Videogames
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/informatics4010004 -
Abstract
Cognitive gameplay—the cognitive dimension of a player’s experience—emerges from the interaction between a player and a game. While its design requires careful consideration, cognitive gameplay can be designed only indirectly via the design of game components. In this paper, we focus on one
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Cognitive gameplay—the cognitive dimension of a player’s experience—emerges from the interaction between a player and a game. While its design requires careful consideration, cognitive gameplay can be designed only indirectly via the design of game components. In this paper, we focus on one such component—the core mechanic—which binds a player and game together through the performance of essential interactions. Little extant research has been aimed at developing frameworks to support the design of interactions within the core mechanic with cognitive gameplay in mind. We present a taxonomic framework named INFORM (Interaction desigN For the cORe Mechanic) to address this gap. INFORM employs twelve micro-level elements that collectively give structure to any individual interaction within the core mechanic. We characterize these elements in the context of videogames, and discuss their potential influences on cognitive gameplay. We situate these elements within a broader framework that synthesizes concepts relevant to game design. INFORM is a descriptive framework, and provides a common vocabulary and a set of concepts that designers can use to think systematically about issues related to micro-level interaction design and cognitive gameplay. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alt-Splice Gene Predictor Using Multitrack-Clique Analysis: Verification of Statistical Support for Modelling in Genomes of Multicellular Eukaryotes
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/informatics4010003 -
Abstract
One of the main limitations of the typical hidden Markov model (HMM) implementation for gene structure identification is that a single structure is identified on a given sequence of genomic data—i.e., identification of overlapping structure is not directly possible, and certainly not possible
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One of the main limitations of the typical hidden Markov model (HMM) implementation for gene structure identification is that a single structure is identified on a given sequence of genomic data—i.e., identification of overlapping structure is not directly possible, and certainly not possible within the confines of the optimal Viterbi path evaluation. This is a huge limitation given that we now know that significant portions of eukaryotic genomes, particularly mammalian genomes, are alternatively spliced, and, thus, have overlapping structure in the sense of the mRNA transcripts that result. Using the general meta-state HMM approach developed in prior work, however, more than one ‘track’ of annotation can be accommodated, thereby allowing a direct implementation of an alternative-splice gene-structure identifier. In this paper we examine the representation of alternative splicing annotation in the multi-track context, and show that the proliferation on states is manageable, and has sufficient statistical support on the genomes examined (human, mouse, worm, and fly) that a full alt-splice meta-state HMM gene finder can be implemented with sufficient statistical support. In the process of performing the alternative splicing analysis on alt-splice event counts we expected to see an increase in alternative splicing complexity as the organism becomes more complex, and this is seen with the percentage of genes with alt-splice variants increasing from worm to fly to the mammalian genomes (mouse and human). Of particular note is an increase in alternative splicing variants at the start and end of coding with the more complex organisms studied (mouse and human), indicating rapid new first and last exon recruitment that is possibly spliceosome mediated. This suggests that spliceosome-mediated refinements (acceleration) of gene structure variation and selection, with increasing levels of sophistication, has occurred in eukaryotes and in mammals especially. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Informatics in 2016
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/informatics4010002 -
Abstract The editors of Informatics would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Preferences of Informal Carers on Technology Packages to Support Meal Production by People Living with Dementia, Elicited from Personalised AT and ICT Product Brochures
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/informatics4010001 -
Abstract
Assistive technology (AT) can help support the continued independence of people living with dementia, supported by informal carers. Opinions and preferences of informal carers towards a range of assistive and digital information and communication technologies (ICT) to support food purchase and menu selection,
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Assistive technology (AT) can help support the continued independence of people living with dementia, supported by informal carers. Opinions and preferences of informal carers towards a range of assistive and digital information and communication technologies (ICT) to support food purchase and menu selection, including navigation and online shopping, and safe meal-making by individuals living with dementia were investigated. General attitudes and experiences with assistive technologies were first probed by means of a focus group with carers (n = 6), organised through the Alzheimer’s Society in Nottingham, England. A series of AT/ICT product brochures were then produced, describing packages of technologies to enable meal production. Task-specific questions were asked of carers (n = 10) at local Memory Cafés as to the perceived capabilities of each individual for shopping and meal-making. Carers were asked to make pair-wise choices in order to select a personalised brochure and to complete a questionnaire to elicit the practicality, desirability and affordability of specific products and to probe for preferences amongst key features. Opinions on ease-of-use, aesthetics, expected safety-in-use, independence of use and stigma related to the technology packages were also collected. Results showed that carers are able to make detailed choices and express preferences about assistive and digital technologies for the individuals in their care, and customise their enabler package. Most believed that having an enabler package would improve safety. Greater exposure of carers to newer digital products would be beneficial. The brochure method could be employed on consumer websites and by AT assessors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interactive Graph Layout of a Million Nodes
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 23; doi:10.3390/informatics3040023 -
Abstract
Sensemaking of large graphs, specifically those with millions of nodes, is a crucial task in many fields. Automatic graph layout algorithms, augmented with real-time human-in-the-loop interaction, can potentially support sensemaking of large graphs. However, designing interactive algorithms to achieve this is challenging. In
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Sensemaking of large graphs, specifically those with millions of nodes, is a crucial task in many fields. Automatic graph layout algorithms, augmented with real-time human-in-the-loop interaction, can potentially support sensemaking of large graphs. However, designing interactive algorithms to achieve this is challenging. In this paper, we tackle the scalability problem of interactive layout of large graphs, and contribute a new GPU-based force-directed layout algorithm that exploits graph topology. This algorithm can interactively layout graphs with millions of nodes, and support real-time interaction to explore alternative graph layouts. Users can directly manipulate the layout of vertices in a force-directed fashion. The complexity of traditional repulsive force computation is reduced by approximating calculations based on the hierarchical structure of multi-level clustered graphs. We evaluate the algorithm performance, and demonstrate human-in-the-loop layout in two sensemaking case studies. Moreover, we summarize lessons learned for designing interactive large graph layout algorithms on the GPU. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper
How Thumbelina Knows
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 22; doi:10.3390/informatics3040022 -
Abstract
In this paper, I take the book by Michel Serres, “Thumbelina”, as an occasion for reflection on the conceptual basis of knowledge management, as was built by Nonaka and co-workers. The direct access to knowledge that Thumbelina practices together with her peers is,
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In this paper, I take the book by Michel Serres, “Thumbelina”, as an occasion for reflection on the conceptual basis of knowledge management, as was built by Nonaka and co-workers. The direct access to knowledge that Thumbelina practices together with her peers is, in fact, for me, and is a good observation point to bring Nonaka’s reflection further towards the discovery of a new understanding of knowledge and knowing processes. If the digital revolution is the third step, after writing and printing, regarding the soft changes in the relations between human beings and knowledge, then it highlights the urgent problem of deepening our understanding of what knowledge and intelligence are, changing our practices at the educational level, and designing new digital tools to support our knowledge management processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Supporting Sensemaking of Complex Objects with Visualizations: Visibility and Complementarity of Interactions
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 20; doi:10.3390/informatics3040020 -
Abstract
Making sense of complex objects is difficult, and typically requires the use of external representations to support cognitive demands while reasoning about the objects. Visualizations are one type of external representation that can be used to support sensemaking activities. In this paper, we
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Making sense of complex objects is difficult, and typically requires the use of external representations to support cognitive demands while reasoning about the objects. Visualizations are one type of external representation that can be used to support sensemaking activities. In this paper, we investigate the role of two design strategies in making the interactive features of visualizations more supportive of users’ exploratory needs when trying to make sense of complex objects. These two strategies are visibility and complementarity of interactions. We employ a theoretical framework concerned with human–information interaction and complex cognitive activities to inform, contextualize, and interpret the effects of the design strategies. The two strategies are incorporated in the design of Polyvise, a visualization tool that supports making sense of complex four-dimensional geometric objects. A mixed-methods study was conducted to evaluate the design strategies and the overall usability of Polyvise. We report the findings of the study, discuss some implications for the design of visualization tools that support sensemaking of complex objects, and propose five design guidelines. We anticipate that our results are transferrable to other contexts, and that these two design strategies can be used broadly in visualization tools intended to support activities with complex objects and information spaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Disabling and Enabling Technologies for Learning in Higher Education for All: Issues and Challenges for Whom?
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 21; doi:10.3390/informatics3040021 -
Abstract
Integration, inclusion, and equity constitute fundamental dimensions of democracy in post-World War II societies and their institutions. The study presented here reports upon the ways in which individuals and institutions both use and account for the roles that technologies, including ICT, play in
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Integration, inclusion, and equity constitute fundamental dimensions of democracy in post-World War II societies and their institutions. The study presented here reports upon the ways in which individuals and institutions both use and account for the roles that technologies, including ICT, play in disabling and enabling access for learning in higher education for all. Technological innovations during the 20th and 21st centuries, including ICT, have been heralded as holding significant promise for revolutionizing issues of access in societal institutions like schools, healthcare services, etc. (at least in the global North). Taking a socially oriented perspective, the study presented in this paper focuses on an ethnographically framed analysis of two datasets that critically explores the role that technologies, including ICT, play in higher education for individuals who are “differently abled” and who constitute a variation on a continuum of capabilities. Functionality as a dimension of everyday life in higher education in the 21st century is explored through the analysis of (i) case studies of two “differently abled” students in Sweden and (ii) current support services at universities in Sweden. The findings make visible the work that institutions and their members do through analyses of the organization of time and space and the use of technologies in institutional settings against the backdrop of individuals’ accountings and life trajectories. This study also highlights the relevance of multi-scale data analyses for revisiting the ways in which identity positions become framed or understood within higher education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ubiquitous Learning Architecture to Enable Learning Path Design across the Cumulative Learning Continuum
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 19; doi:10.3390/informatics3040019 -
Abstract
The past twelve years have seen ubiquitous learning (u-learning) emerging as a new learning paradigm based on ubiquitous technology. By integrating a high level of mobility into the learning environment, u-learning enables learning not only through formal but also through informal and social
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The past twelve years have seen ubiquitous learning (u-learning) emerging as a new learning paradigm based on ubiquitous technology. By integrating a high level of mobility into the learning environment, u-learning enables learning not only through formal but also through informal and social learning modalities. This makes it suitable for lifelong learners that want to explore, identify and seize such learning opportunities, and to fully build upon these experiences. This paper presents a theoretical framework for designing personalized learning paths for lifelong learners, which supports contemporary pedagogical approaches that can promote the idea of a cumulative learning continuum from pedagogy through andragogy to heutagogy where lifelong learners progress in maturity and autonomy. The framework design builds on existing conceptual and process models for pedagogy-driven design of learning ecosystems. Based on this framework, we propose a system architecture that aims to provide personalized learning pathways using selected pedagogical strategies, and to integrate formal, informal and social training offerings using two well-known learning and development reference models; the 70:20:10 framework and the 3–33 model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
AVIST: A GPU-Centric Design for Visual Exploration of Large Multidimensional Datasets
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 18; doi:10.3390/informatics3040018 -
Abstract
This paper presents the Animated VISualization Tool (AVIST), an exploration-oriented data visualization tool that enables rapidly exploring and filtering large time series multidimensional datasets. AVIST highlights interactive data exploration by revealing fine data details. This is achieved through the use of animation and
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This paper presents the Animated VISualization Tool (AVIST), an exploration-oriented data visualization tool that enables rapidly exploring and filtering large time series multidimensional datasets. AVIST highlights interactive data exploration by revealing fine data details. This is achieved through the use of animation and cross-filtering interactions. To support interactive exploration of big data, AVIST features a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)-centric design. Two key aspects are emphasized on the GPU-centric design: (1) both data management and computation are implemented on the GPU to leverage its parallel computing capability and fast memory bandwidth; (2) a GPU-based directed acyclic graph is proposed to characterize data transformations triggered by users’ demands. Moreover, we implement AVIST based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. In the implementation, we consider two aspects: (1) user interaction is highlighted to slice big data into small data; and (2) data transformation is based on parallel computing. Two case studies demonstrate how AVIST can help analysts identify abnormal behaviors and infer new hypotheses by exploring big datasets. Finally, we summarize lessons learned about GPU-based solutions in interactive information visualization with big data. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Direct Visual Editing of Node Attributes in Graphs
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 17; doi:10.3390/informatics3040017 -
Abstract
There are many expressive visualization techniques for analyzing graphs. Yet, there is only little research on how existing visual representations can be employed to support data editing. An increasingly relevant task when working with graphs is the editing of node attributes. We propose
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There are many expressive visualization techniques for analyzing graphs. Yet, there is only little research on how existing visual representations can be employed to support data editing. An increasingly relevant task when working with graphs is the editing of node attributes. We propose an integrated visualize-and-edit approach to editing attribute values via direct interaction with the visual representation. The visualize part is based on node-link diagrams paired with attribute-dependent layouts. The edit part is as easy as moving nodes via drag-and-drop gestures. We present dedicated interaction techniques for editing quantitative as well as qualitative attribute data values. The benefit of our novel integrated approach is that one can directly edit the data while the visualization constantly provides feedback on the implications of the data modifications. Preliminary user feedback indicates that our integrated approach can be a useful complement to standard non-visual editing via external tools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Opening up the Black Box of Sensor Processing Algorithms through New Visualizations
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 16; doi:10.3390/informatics3030016 -
Abstract
Vehicles and platforms with multiple sensors connect people in multiple roles with different responsibilities to scenes of interest. For many of these human–sensor systems there are a variety of algorithms that transform, select, and filter the sensor data prior to human intervention. Emergency
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Vehicles and platforms with multiple sensors connect people in multiple roles with different responsibilities to scenes of interest. For many of these human–sensor systems there are a variety of algorithms that transform, select, and filter the sensor data prior to human intervention. Emergency response, precision agriculture, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) are examples of these human–computation–sensor systems. The authors examined a case of the latter to understand how people in various roles utilize the algorithms output to identify meaningful properties in data streams given uncertainty. The investigations revealed: (a) that increasingly complex interactions occur across agents in the human–computation–sensor system; and (b) analysts struggling to interpret the output of “black box” algorithms given uncertainty and change in the scenes of interest. The paper presents a new interactive visualization concept designed to “open up the black box” of sensor processing algorithms to support human analysts as they look for meaning in feeds from sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Older People Using e-Health Services—Exploring Frequency of Use and Associations with Perceived Benefits for Spouse Caregivers
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 15; doi:10.3390/informatics3030015 -
Abstract
ICT, information- and communication technologies, and e-health services are essential for meeting future care demands. Greater knowledge regarding the implementation of e-health services in long-term care for older people is needed. The purpose of the study was to explore older people’s use of
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ICT, information- and communication technologies, and e-health services are essential for meeting future care demands. Greater knowledge regarding the implementation of e-health services in long-term care for older people is needed. The purpose of the study was to explore older people’s use of e-health services and associations between frequency of use and perceived benefits. In the longitudinal comparative intervention study (n = 65), intervention group participants (n = 42) used an e-health service for 1.5 years. A control group (n = 23) used similar services provided in a traditional manner. Data was collected through questionnaires and analyzed using linear and logistic regressions. Although general use of the Internet was similar in both groups, the e-health group perceived significantly higher benefits. The component information- and education programs, developed specifically for the e-health service, had the highest association with benefits. Conclusion: e-health services targeted at supporting older people who care for a spouse at home can provide benefits which most likely will not be obtained without participation in an organized e-service. Care professionals play an essential role in encouraging spouse caregivers to become e-service users. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Advancing the Direction of Health Information Management in Greek Public Hospitals: Theoretical Directions and Methodological Implications for Sharing Information in order to Obtain Decision-Making
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 14; doi:10.3390/informatics3030014 -
Abstract
Although consultants have long placed the use of research information at the centre of their activity, the extent that physicians use this information tends to vary widely. Despite this study and its recommendations, there is still a gap between the functions of a
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Although consultants have long placed the use of research information at the centre of their activity, the extent that physicians use this information tends to vary widely. Despite this study and its recommendations, there is still a gap between the functions of a manager and the use of the associated information, while the decision-making procedures vary according to the organization in which they work. The cost of IT remains the largest barrier, while some current IT solutions are not user friendly and out-of-date, particularly for public hospitals in Greece. The knowledge management is concerned not only with the facts and figures of production, but also with the know-how of staff. The information needs protocol should not be referred only to those who comply with formal computer-based information systems, but also to those who take into account other informal information and its flow within the organization. In a field such as medicine, where out-of-date information may be positively dangerous, doctors make heavy use of journals and several texts from the web. The decision-making process is a complex approach, particularly in human diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Therefore, it is very important to set priorities in the sector of health information management and promote education and training on information and communication technology (ICT). Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Socio-Economic Evaluation of a European Project: The DIYLab Case
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 13; doi:10.3390/informatics3030013 -
Abstract
This paper builds on the results of a 3-year long European project, the main aim of which was to deeply and sustainably transform teaching and learning practice in primary and secondary schools and higher education, by introducing Do it Yourself (DIY) philosophy in
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This paper builds on the results of a 3-year long European project, the main aim of which was to deeply and sustainably transform teaching and learning practice in primary and secondary schools and higher education, by introducing Do it Yourself (DIY) philosophy in order to expand digital competence and foster students’ agency and collaborative learning. Three universities and three primary and secondary schools have been involved in a Collaborative Action Research (CAR) process in order to analyse their current institutional context and perceive needs, strengths and weaknesses; to undertake professional development activities and the design of DIYLabs; implement DIYLabs in the selected courses; and reflect upon ways of improving the institution’s performance. This paper offers a global vision of the research and implementation processes and the results achieved, from the perspective of the socio-economic dimensions involved in a project aiming to make a difference in teaching and learning to meet the challenges of a society highly permeated by digital technology (DT). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
When Wiki Technology Meets Corporate Knowledge Management Routines: A Sociomateriality Perspective
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 12; doi:10.3390/informatics3030012 -
Abstract
There seems to be an inherent tension between wiki affordances—open boundaries, unconstrained editing, and transparency—and traditional knowledge management (KM) routines used in firms. The objective of this study is to investigate how users respond to these tensions during adoption of wiki technology at
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There seems to be an inherent tension between wiki affordances—open boundaries, unconstrained editing, and transparency—and traditional knowledge management (KM) routines used in firms. The objective of this study is to investigate how users respond to these tensions during adoption of wiki technology at the workplace. The theoretical lens of sociomateriality highlights the manner in which routines and materiality (namely, technology) relate to one another, providing a useful conceptualization for our investigation. In particular, we adopt Leonardi’s theory of human and material imbrication, which stresses the importance of a worker’s past experiences with technology in determining his future adoption decisions. Extending Leonardi’s conceptualization, we suggest that out-of-work experiences are also influential. Namely, we argue that attitudes towards Wikipedia influence one’s response to wiki deployment in the workplace. Using an online survey containing four open-ended questions, we assessed the perceptions of employees towards wiki deployment. Results from our qualitative analysis of 1032 responses reveal five approaches users take in responding to the tensions between wiki affordances and existing KM routines, highlighting the effect of users’ dispositions towards Wikipedia. Our findings inform the sociomateriality literature and shed light on the challenges faced by organizations trying to adopt social media tools. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Social Media Systems in the Workplace: Toward Understanding Employee Knowledge Creation via Microblogging within Shared Knowledge Domains
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 11; doi:10.3390/informatics3030011 -
Abstract
Adoption of social media systems (SMS), proprietary microblogging platforms in particular, for the purposes of information sharing has been increasingly on the rise among corporations. While Twitter is the preferred microblogging tool by the general public, there is scant research to address its
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Adoption of social media systems (SMS), proprietary microblogging platforms in particular, for the purposes of information sharing has been increasingly on the rise among corporations. While Twitter is the preferred microblogging tool by the general public, there is scant research to address its viability as a conduit to facilitate knowledge creation among corporate users. As a result, this conceptual paper explores seven crucial Twitter features and derives to seven propositions that demonstrate how microblogging can enable knowledge creation among employees within shared knowledge domain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tagging Users’ Social Circles via Multiple Linear Regression
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 10; doi:10.3390/informatics3030010 -
Abstract
A social circle is a category of strong social relationships, such as families, classmates and good friends and so on. The information diffusion among members of online social circles is frequent and credible. The research of users’ online social circles has become popular
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A social circle is a category of strong social relationships, such as families, classmates and good friends and so on. The information diffusion among members of online social circles is frequent and credible. The research of users’ online social circles has become popular in recent years. Many scholars propose methods for detecting users’ online social circles. On the other hand, the social meanings and the tags of a social circle are also important for the analysis of a social circle. However, little work involves the tags discovery of social circles. This paper proposes an algorithm for social circle tag detection by multiple linear regression. The model solves the data sparse problem of tags in social circles and successfully combines different categories of features in social circles. We also redmap the concept of the social circle into "reference circles" of an academic paper. We evaluate our method in datasets of both Facebook and Microsoft Academic Search, and prove that it is more effective than other relevant methods. Full article
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