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Visualising Dynamic Virtual Organisations 

Scope and Topics

One of the major problems for would be adopters of VO technology and approaches is understanding and comprehending the what’s, why’s, how’s, when’s and who’s of a virtual approach. Without some form of explicit or implicit visualisation VO approaches are unlikely to be widely appropriated by stakeholders. The challenge is to communicate what a VO-enabled approach to achieving their individual; organisational, project or community goals are designed, configured and deployed could look like. This workshop aims to explore the challenges of harnessing diverse knowledge and skills for the purpose of collective decision making and effective coordination. Then once in use what ongoing utilities does a VO have in the day-to-day practices of organisations; projects and professionals. The focus of the workshop will be papers and chaired discussion about whether the visualisation challenge lies in the issues of design or deployment/configuration.

Designing VO?

A number of key considerations arise when designing a VO.  Is it important that all participants can comprehend the purposes of the VO and their and others’ roles and responsibilities within it?  Is it the case that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to effective VO design?  Ought VOs to be co-constructed by their members to accommodate their needs, which may be diverse in every case?  Is it inevitable that different members will tend to understand and communicate their requirements in different ways?

Are new methods, techniques and technologies are needed to facilitate the process allowing each participant to express their requirements in terms that can be understood by the others? Will the result constitute the design of the VO, from the business intention to the physical deployment of technology elements?

Deployment and configuration of VO?

Once design is complete, the VO undergoes deployment and configuration.  This may be a highly complex procedure ranging from the physical deployment of technology and installation of software to configuration of roles, contracts, information repositories, security considerations etc. through to changes made in organisations to accommodate virtual working.  Given that by nature VOs are distributed with different parties it is assumed that organising different aspects this requires a detailed and complex multi-layered deployment plan.  Are such plans required for deployment to be successfully completed? Is it possible to verify that the VO meets the original design?  Is it possible to ensure that the design, once deployed, will not encounter unforeseen problems such as deadlock and livelock due to conflicting trust and security constraints?

Towards a Visualisation approach

Emerging lessons from the GOLD (a UK EPSRC research project looking at VO in the Chemical Industry) and the OLDES (FP6 project looking at Tele-accompany services for Health and Social Care) suggest that new approaches are needed to visualise the process of turning a VO design into a deployment that satisfies the design requirements and to manage the process of integrating lessons learned back into the mutually-accepted design. The process of operating a VO is likely to be highly complex, involving business and support activities at a number of levels. Methods and tools to support are needed to help visualise the potential impact of inevitable change within VOs, of operational, physical and political constraints and of potential deadlock/livelock situations The ability to mobilise knowledge and skills throughout the VO to facilitate collective decision making across organisational boundaries requires a detailed and shared picture of the VO’s many levels and their interactions.


  • - Visualisation Approaches
    - Designing VO
    - Deploying, configuring and operating VO
    - Techniques for successful appropriation of VO


Full paper submission: 19th July 07
Acceptance notice: 23rd July 07
Camera ready submission: 1st August 07

Acceptance of papers is based on the full paper (up to 8 pages). Each paper will be evaluated by members of the Workshop Organisers.

Structure of the Event

The event will be the presentations from the papers with plenary sessions to discuss the major topics.
All papers accepted will be published in the proceedings of the conference (CD edition).

Program Committee

Rob Smith - UK
Paul Watson - UK
Rob Wilson - UK
Gianpaulo Montelliti - Italy
Norbert Froschle - Germany
Giovanni Rinaldi – Italy
James Cornford - UK
Bob Sugden - UK
Mike Martin - UK
Ian McLoughlin - UK
(to be completed)

Organization Committee

Rob Wilson – Newcastle University; This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
Rob Smith – Newcastle University; This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it