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AIC Seminar Series

Koala: a Wikipedia for Business Process

Tessa LauIBM Almaden Research Center

Notice:  hosted by Melinda Gervasio

Date:  Thursday, February 15th 2007 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ291  (Directions)


Knowledge capture and reuse in an enterprise is an ongoing challenge for businesses. Employees often struggle to find out how to complete certain processes, such as hiring summer interns or ordering a new computer. In our Koala project, we are exploiting the synergy of four related technologies to build a system that enables end users to document, share, and collaborate on "how to" knowledge. Koala combines ideas from programming by demonstration, "sloppy" programming, wikis, and user-specific data into a system that lets users easily record and play back scripts for tasks performed on the web. Our approach is based on a human- and machine-understandable "sloppy" programming language that can be easily read and written by people, and yet also interpreted by machine to automate common or difficult tasks. Scripts are published to a company-wide server, in which we are exploring the broader issues of social search and navigation, and script reuse and maintenance.

   Bio for Tessa Lau

Tessa Lau is a Research Staff Member at IBMÂ’s Almaden Research Center. She completed her Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Washington in 2001. Her research goal is to give people tools to improve their productivity, enhance their creativity, and make them more effective. She is interested in information management, particularly personal information, and how people interact with and customize their working environment. She has done significant work in the area of programming by demonstration, giving end users the ability to automate repetitive tasks simply by showing the system how to perform the task a few times. More generally, she is interested in finding patterns in human behavior and human-centric information and building tools that exploit these patterns to enable people to do more with less work.

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