Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 423–468

Multi-level Editing of Hierarchical Documents


DOI: 10.1007/s10606-007-9071-2

Cite this article as:
Ignat*, CL. & Norrie, M.C. Comput Supported Coop Work (2008) 17: 423. doi:10.1007/s10606-007-9071-2


Collaborative editing enables a group of people to edit documents collaboratively over a computer network. Customisation of the collaborative environment to different subcommunities of users at different points in time is an important issue. The model of the document is an important factor in achieving customisation. We have chosen a tree representation encompassing a large class of documents, such as text, XML and graphical documents and here we propose a multi-level editing approach for maintaining consistency over hierarchical-based documents. The multi-level editing approach involves logging edit operations that refer to each node. Keeping operations associated with the tree nodes to which they refer offers support for tracking user activity performed on various units of the document. This facilitates the computation of awareness information and the handling of conflicting changes referring to units of the document. Moreover, increased efficiency is obtained compared to existing approaches that use a linear structure for representing documents. The multi-level editing approach involves the recursive application of any linear merging algorithm over the document structure and we show how the approach was applied for real-time and asynchronous modes of collaboration.

Key words

consistency maintenanceoperational transformationmerging of hierarchical documentsreal-time collaborative editingasynchronous collaborative editingmulti-level editingcomputer-supported cooperative work

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LORIAINRIA Nancy-Grand EstVandœuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  2. 2.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland