Communication and Collaboration Support Systems
It was approximately two decades ago that the support of communication and collaboration became an important research issue. The technical stimulation for this was the spread of personal computers and computer networks, whilst the social driver was the demand for the support of everyday work, frequently including group work and teamwork. This field of research has become known as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work whilst the systems to support group work are called groupware. Over the two decades, research has been extensively conducted. Various Web-based systems have been researched, some of which are aimed at the support of communication and collaboration. Mobile phones have spread rapidly and communication and collaboration support systems have also been researched on this platform. There are many other technologies such as virtual reality, robotics, multimedia, and ubiquitous computing, each of which provides opportunities for the research field. As the research field is not dependent on the type of technology, but is dependent on the needs of human activity and human beings are social animals, the technical demands of supporting social activities do not diminish. Technologies that potentially are useful for this purpose are being investigated whilst new technologies are invented. As a result of the development of IT, the research and development of communication and collaboration systems is increasingly active. The scope of this publication extends from perspectives, design principles, guidelines and social aspects of communication and collaboration support systems to the various application systems and the platform technologies.