An Admissibility-Based Operational Transformation Framework for Collaborative Editing Systems

Abstract

Operational transformation (OT) as a consistency control method has been well accepted in group editors. With OT, the users can edit any part of a shared document at any time and local responsiveness is not sensitive to communication latencies. However, established theoretical frameworks for developing OT algorithms either require transformation functions to work in all possible cases, which complicates the design of transformation functions, or include an under-formalized condition of intention preservation, which results in algorithms that cannot be formally proved and must be fixed over time to address newly discovered counterexamples. To address those limitations, this paper proposes an alternative framework, called admissibility-based transformation (ABT), that is theoretically based on formalized, provable correctness criteria and practically no longer requires transformation functions to work under all conditions. Compared to previous approaches, ABT simplifies the design and proofs of OT algorithms.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful, constructive, and detailed feedback, which improves the presentation of this work and our understanding of some of the related works. The authors also thank other researchers, especially Bin Shao (Fudan University, China) and David Sun (University of California, Berkeley), for valuable discussions. This research was primarily conducted when the authors were at Texas A&M University. It was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under CAREER award IIS-0133871.

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Correspondence to Du Li.

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Li, D., Li, R. An Admissibility-Based Operational Transformation Framework for Collaborative Editing Systems. Comput Supported Coop Work 19, 1–43 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10606-009-9103-1

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Key words

  • CSCW
  • collaboration
  • consistency control
  • group editor
  • operational transformation