The Collaborative and Social Computing (CSC) group contributes to the HCI Research Program within the Centre for Knowledge and Interaction Technology (KIT ) by facilitating people to actively share, network, communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, anytime.  

Our CSC research investigates how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of groupware systems and in general how people network, communicate, and share through social software systems. These systems span a variety of platforms and environments including cloud, P2P, mobile, and virtual environments. Our research covers cloud-based applications and services, P2P-based applications and technologies, mobile social software, collaborative virtual environments, social information retrieval, social network analysis and mining, social computing applications, service-oriented software engineering, extreme programming, and software configuration management.

Current Projects

  • Transparent integration of off-the-shelf desktop applications into the cloud. This project investigates the transparent integration of off-the-shelf desktop applications into the cloud, enabling people to work, interact, and collaborate seamlessly using both single-user desktop applications and the corresponding services in the cloud. A prior work on transparently adapting single-user desktop applications for multi-user collaboration (the vertical direction in the schematic framework) can be found at This project focuses on transparently integrating single-user desktop applications into the cloud platform (the horizontal and diagonal directions).
  • Data consistency in cloud-based asymmetric collaborative applications and services. This project investigates an effective and efficient synchronization solution for general cloud-based collaborative applications and services. It specifically addresses the data consistency issue in asymmetric conditions such as participants with asymmetric roles and access permissions to the shared data, asymmetric replicas of the shared data, access to the cloud-based collaborative applications from asymmetric devices and so on. The research outcomes shall bring a new collaborative experience in cloud-based applications and services. A preliminary prototype app is hosted at Google App Engine cloud computing platform (
  • A social epistemology approach to online exploratory search. This project investigates a core technology - social epistemology - that can be used for users to easily retrieve, create and share their intimate knowledge online. This project involves researches on social search, information retrieval, social networking, trust management, knowledge markets, and so on.
  • Encouraging proactive student engagement in lectures through collaborative note-taking on mobile devices. This project investigates a technical approach that allows a small group of students to participate in a real-time collaborative note-taking session using their own devices, and motivate, assist, and monitor each other in order to actively learn and keep everyone in the group engaged during the lecture. Ubiquitous devices such as Smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and laptops, are leveraged as the teaching and learning front-end, while the back-end storage and services such as session management, synchronization, and polling are pro- vided by the cloud.
  • Service-oriented collaborative Web programming. This project investigates service-oriented software configuration management that empowers developers to collaborate seamlessly when developing Web applications concurrently. It uses the cloud as the code repository and service provider and has the ability to share and version services, which is in a contrast to the traditional document-oriented software configuration management that can only share and version source code files.

Previous Projects

  • Collaborative software modeling. This project investigated techniques that allow geographically dispersed software designers to collaboratively perform software modeling on the same task in real time using their existing modeling tools such as Rational Software Architect (RSA) or Eclipse. It specially addressed some key issues in agile software development, where interaction and collaboration among team members or across teams are essential to success and requirements tend to change or evolve in short cycles.
  • Collaborative creation and application of interactive digital media over the Internet. This project investigated technologies that can support collaborative creation and application of various interactive digital media contents (including 2D/3D animations and still images) over the Internet by leveraging mainstream commercial-off-the-shelf digital media design products such as Maya and AutoCAD. More information can be found at

For More Information…

For more information on our CSC research and projects, or if you’re interested in joining the group, please contact Dr Haifeng Shen .