Design and Preliminary Evaluation of MIDST, a System to Support Stigmergic Coordination in Data-Science Teams

Publication Type:

Conference Paper

Source:

(Submitted)

Abstract:

We describe the design, implementation and preliminary evaluation of MIDST, a system to support stigmergic coordination in data-science teams. We first define a theoretical model of stigmergic coordination, that is, coordination supported by a shared work product. We hypothesize that stigmergic coordination depends on three socio-technical affordances, the visibility and combinability of work, along with defined genres of work contributions. We describe the implementation of a system, MIDST, that supports these affordances and that we expect to support stigmergic coordination. We conclude with an initial assessment of the impact of the tool on the work of project teams of three to six data-science students. Our initial findings suggest that even using an early version of the system, MIDST users perceived improved workload fairness and fewer team output coordination issues, while spending less time on explicit coordination, suggesting that the system was in fact useful in supporting stigmergic coordination, supporting our hypotheses.

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