Chapter

Perspectives on Culture and Agent-based Simulations

Volume 3 of the series Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality pp 191-210

Date:

Socially-Oriented Requirements Engineering: Software Engineering Meets Ethnography

  • Sonja PedellAffiliated withFaculty of Design, Swinburne University of Technology Email author 
  • , Tim MillerAffiliated withDepartment of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne
  • , Frank VetereAffiliated withDepartment of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne
  • , Leon SterlingAffiliated withFaculty of Information and Communication Technologies, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Steve HowardAffiliated withDepartment of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne

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Abstract

We outline an approach for eliciting, understanding, and representing the cultural aspects of the domestic environment for the purpose of system design. We use agent models as shared artefacts to represent the everyday cultural life of the home. These representations build an understanding between the people that own this culture and the people responsible for technology development. We argue the necessity of knowing about a formal representation of these cultural aspects to inform design decisions and develop technologies that truly satisfy and support the everyday life of families. Our aim is to express socially-oriented requirements for technology. We show the usefulness of this approach on a case study that investigates interactions between grandparents and grandchildren who are geographically separated.