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Symmetric and asymmetric action integration during cooperative object manipulation in virtual environments

Jones, D.M., Ruddle, R.A. and Savage, J.C. (2002) Symmetric and asymmetric action integration during cooperative object manipulation in virtual environments. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 9 (4). pp. 285-308. ISSN 1073-0516

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Cooperation between multiple users in a virtual environment (VE) can take place at one of three levels. These are defined as where users can perceive each other (Level 1), individually change the scene (Level 2), or simultaneously act on and manipulate the same object (Level 3). Despite representing the highest level of cooperation, multi-user object manipulation has rarely been studied. This paper describes a behavioral experiment in which the piano movers' problem (maneuvering a large object through a restricted space) was used to investigate object manipulation by pairs of participants in a VE. Participants' interactions with the object were integrated together either symmetrically or asymmetrically. The former only allowed the common component of participants' actions to take place, but the latter used the mean. Symmetric action integration was superior for sections of the task when both participants had to perform similar actions, but if participants had to move in different ways (e.g., one maneuvering themselves through a narrow opening while the other traveled down a wide corridor) then asymmetric integration was superior. With both forms of integration, the extent to which participants coordinated their actions was poor and this led to a substantial cooperation overhead (the reduction in performance caused by having to cooperate with another person).

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2002 ACM. This is an author produced version of a paper published in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Virtual environments, object manipulation, piano movers' problem, rules of interaction.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs Yasmin Aziz
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2008 17:32
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2014 07:39
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/586081.586084
Status: Published
Publisher: ACM
Identification Number: 10.1145/586081.586084
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4965

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