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Dissertation Information for Xiaolong Zhang

- Xiaolong Zhang

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (2003)

- George Furnas

- Gary Olson
- Klaus-Peter Beier
- John Edwin Laird

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Multiscale collaborative virtual environments

Abstract: This research focuses on the analysis, design and development, and evaluation of a type of innovative virtual environments, multiscale collaboration virtual environment (mCVEs), which can help people work on large-scale and structured data. The dissertation begins with an introduction to an mCVE with an focus on how such an environment could help people work on multiscale structures and what its potential contributions to people's work could be. In the conceptual analysis of mCVEs and its impact on users, discussions focus on the understandings of scale and multiscale in terms of user interactions. Based on an avatar metaphor, the implications of multiscale for user interactions are examined at two levels. At the individual level, concerned issues include how users' visual perception (e.g., size perception, depth perception, and spatial frequencies) and interactive actions (e.g., navigation and object manipulation) will be affected in a multiscale virtual environment. At the collaborative level, the impacts of multiscale on mutual awareness, cross-scale information sharing, and cross-scale object manipulation are analyzed. With design considerations derived from these conceptual analyses, an mCVE prototype system is implemented. Discussed implementation issues in the research include system infrastructures, system architectures, and technical details of some multiscale tools. Four lab experiments are conducted to study the effectiveness of mCVEs in helping users to accomplish cross-scale tasks, the roles of multiscale tools in supporting navigation in multiscale virtual environments, and the impact of multiscale on social distance. Experiment results show: (a) multiscale collaboration can indeed benefit users in their cross-scale tasks while some multiscale collaboration overhead issues need to be addressed; (b) making two interaction parameters--eye-level and navigation speed--changeable and coupling them in the control can lead to the performance improvement in searching and navigation activities in multiscale virtual environments; (c) scaling according to the standing point of an avatar can help users more in long-distance navigation, but its contribution to the short-distance navigation is limited; (d) avatar size and eye level can have a dramatic impact on the negotiation of mutually acceptable closeness in mCVEs.

MPACT Scores for Xiaolong Zhang

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:29:48

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Students under Xiaolong Zhang

- None

- None