Inah Omoronyia, John Ferguson, Marc Roper, Murray Wood

The aim of this project is to address some of the problems for developer collaboration, specifically in virtual space, in large scale software engineering projects. Challenges include the changing roles of developers, losing track of task context due to the sheer size of projects and the associated number of project artefacts, and the need for developers to comprehend documents and code developed by others. Such an environment must facilitate present and future project team members in attaining a common, shared understanding of the project process and its products. The aim of the research is to develop, demonstrate and evaluate a ‘Continuum of Relevance Index’ (CRI) model based on four abstract perspectives: project, task, artefact, and developer surrogate. It is anticipated that this model will support developers’ understanding of: real time task focus within a project, current developer activity, and current collaborative interaction over the myriad of artefacts that compose a CSE space. The model is intended to support effective social interaction amongst developers collaborating in a virtual space and help reduce the overwhelming web of information inherent in today’s large scale software systems. The key research question is whether collaboration information related to the relevance of tasks, developer surrogates, and project artefacts can enhance common knowledge and shared understanding.