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Appears in:
Pages: 7957-7963
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

AN INTERACTIVE APPROACH FOR FAST AND FRUGAL DECISION MAKING IN INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COOPERATION

U. Jansen1, W. Schulz2

1RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
2Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (GERMANY)
To generate an intuitively understandable representation of research processes in interdisciplinary research cooperation, a web-based research planning and representation tool, called FlowChart, is developed and evaluated inside a large research collaboration. This collaboration is called the Cluster of Excellence (CoE) for production research at the RWTH Aachen University and consists of more than 100 researchers from various departments and disciplines situated in the broad field of production technology.

To interlink the research fields of the CoE, Cross Sectional Processes (CSP) are established to support the transfer of highly complex, dynamic and interdisciplinary research cooperation into sustainable and robust structures. To achieve this, CSP set up a centralized web-framework to provide cooperative services like glossaries, bibliometric analysis, social office and research planning tools.

The FlowChart tool combines the advantages of existing project planning tools to an interlinked and intuitively operable web-application and is extended by the special needs of research projects like dependency and conflict detection or change tracking during project evolution. The FlowChart tool illustrates a standardized approach that correlates initial situation, the work packages and the objectives in a clear and intuitively understandable manner. Finally the tool enables an iterative adjustment of work packages along the advancing research progress. The tool supports communication behavior between project partners and tightens cooperation activities identifying the fast and frugal research path towards the objectives or even adapting the objectives itself. In particular, the identification process becomes flexible enough to follow the propositions during repetitive project meetings.

Project planning tools of different complexity already exist, however the acceptance of existing tools in the investigated scientific community suffers from the lack of flexibility. Interview studies show, that the principal reasons for missing acceptance of these tools refer to poor usability for untrained users and the missing ability of these tools to adapt and track changes within the research process. Requirements analysis leads to the principal demands simplicity and adaptability. To meet these, the web-based FlowChart tool is implemented which allows the decentralized view and modification of research plans interactively. To track user actions and update all connected clients, modern web techniques like Asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX) and Server Sent Events (SSE) are used to ensure that all users share the same view. All user actions are recorded in a central database as individual changelets and sent to all connected clients using PostgreSQL's listen/notify mechanism. Due to this changelet approach, the change history of every FlowChart item can be tracked and inspected by every user.

The usability and added value to distributed research projects will be investigated within the CoE and selected research-industry cooperation.

The initial version of the FlowChart tool is examined by a usability study with 8 members from different disciplines and departments and includes a questionnaire and expert interviews. Results of this study are analyzed and measures to refine and extend the FlowChart performance are identified. The extended FlowChart tool will be provided for the whole CoE collaboration which performs usability and acceptance studies.
@InProceedings{JANSEN2015ANI,
author = {Jansen, U. and Schulz, W.},
title = {AN INTERACTIVE APPROACH FOR FAST AND FRUGAL DECISION MAKING IN INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COOPERATION},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {7957-7963}}
TY - CONF
AU - U. Jansen AU - W. Schulz
TI - AN INTERACTIVE APPROACH FOR FAST AND FRUGAL DECISION MAKING IN INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COOPERATION
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 7957
EP - 7963
ER -
U. Jansen, W. Schulz (2015) AN INTERACTIVE APPROACH FOR FAST AND FRUGAL DECISION MAKING IN INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COOPERATION, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 7957-7963.
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