The SOCIAL Project

Approaching Spontaneous Communication in Distributed Work Groups
  • Jasper van de VenEmail author
  • Dimitra Anastasiou
  • Frank Dylla
  • Susanne Boll
  • Christian Freksa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9425)


The aim of the project SOCIAL is to explore possibilities to facilitate spontaneous and informal communication in spatially distributed groups by exploiting ambient intelligence and smart environments. Spontaneous and informal communication has a strong impact on the productivity, social identity, and wellbeing of work groups. The spatial distance between peers plays a key role in successfully establishing and maintaining such communication. In co-located teams, spontaneous communication occurs daily: People occasionally meet on office floors, at the coffee corner, or have lunch together. Today, due to globalization we often encounter distributed work settings that impede spontaneous communication between co-workers, as teams are distributed over branch offices located in different cities and countries. We propose to approach this problem by (1) detecting situations with the potential for spontaneous informal communication, (2) representing and raising awareness for these situations appropriately, and (3) enabling users to engage seamlessly in spontaneous communication spanning spatially separated locations. In this paper we focus on the second aspect. A pilot study is described with results on combining various interaction modalities in order to raise awareness for communication. In addition, we describe a formal representation for ambient intelligence incorporating situational context and the system itself.


Situational Context Ambient Intelligence Smart Environment Project Social Awareness System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We acknowledge German Research Foundation (DFG) funding for project SOCIAL (FR 806/15-1 | BO 1645/12-1). We thank the four anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasper van de Ven
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dimitra Anastasiou
    • 2
  • Frank Dylla
    • 1
  • Susanne Boll
    • 2
  • Christian Freksa
    • 1
  1. 1.Cognitive Systems GroupUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.University of OldenburgOldenburgGermany

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