T8: Operational Transformation Theory and Practice: Empowering Real-world Collaborative Applications
Duration and schedule
Half-day (2:30pm - 6:00pm), March 19, 2011
Operational Transformation (OT) is a technology for supporting a wide range of collaboration functions and applications. Due to its lock-free, non-blocking, unconstrained interaction, and fine-grained concurrency properties, OT is particularly suitable for supporting real-time collaboration over the Internet. Grounded on over one-decade academic research, OT has emerged as the choice of collaboration technology in major industrial applications (Google Docs/Wave). This tutorial provides a broad and in-depth coverage of OT theory and practice: from core algorithms to real-world applications. It includes an overview of representative collaborative techniques, and detailed explanation of OT solutions to complex distributed collaboration problems and supporting advanced collaborative applications. Working systems (OTXplorer, CoWord, CoMaya) will be used to help audiences understand the intricacy and capability of OT.
Dr Chengzheng Sun is a full Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His current research focuses on Internet-based collaborative computing technologies and applications. Since 1994, Dr Sun has been the leader and principal investigator of CoWord, CoPowerPoint, CoMaya, and OTXplorer projects (http://cooffice.ntu.edu.sg), which have made important contributions to the theory and practical application of the Operational Transformation (OT) technology and collaborative editing systems. Dr Sun has published extensively and delivered seminars and tutorials on OT and collaborative editing widely at major international conferences and research institutes/universities.
After this course, the attendee will learn:
- what are the key technical problems facing collaborative computing system researchers and designers,
- what are the state-of-the-art techniques for resolving these problems,
- how to use OT for solving distributed collaboration problems and supporting real-world applications,
- which approaches are most promising and successful in practice, and
- which research issues, puzzles, and new directions are open for future exploration.
- 2:30 pm - 4:00pm: Lecture and Interactive Demo on OT core algorithms and solutions to consistency maintenance, conflict resolution, and group undo. OTXplorer (a web-based software tool for exploring and evaluating OT algorithms and real implementations) will be used to illustrate OT capabilities and solutions to well-known puzzles.
- 4:00 pm - 4:30pm: Coffee Break
- 4:30 pm - 6:00pm: Lecture and Interactive Demo on OT-powered real-world collaborative applications. CoWord (a real-time collaborative word processor converted from Microsoft Word) and CoMaya (a 3D digital media design system converted from Autodesk Maya) will be used to show how to use OT-based GCE (Generic Collaboration Engine) and TA (Transparent Adaptation) technologies to leverage commercial-off-the-shelf single-user applications into multi-user collaborative systems without changing the source code of the original application, and to demonstrate advanced collaboration features in GCE-TA-based systems.
During the tutorial, audiences will have access to the OTXplorer, CoWord and CoMaya systems to explore and learn the power and intricacies of OT.
- collaborative system designers seeking for innovative technical solutions to distributed collaborative system design problems;
- software vendors interested in knowing the power of OT and empowering their existing or new products with OT; and
- researchers and postgraduates seeking for interesting, challenging, and relevant research topics at the frontier of collaborative computing technologies and systems.
General knowledge in computer science is assumed for attendees.
- C. Sun, "OTFAQ: Operational Transformation Frequently Asked Questions and Answers," http://cooffice.ntu.edu.sg/otfaq. 2010.
- D. Sun and C. Sun: "Context-based Operational Transformation in Distributed Collaborative Editing Systems," IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Vol. 20, No. 10, October 2009, pp1454-1470.
- C. Sun, S. Xia, D. Sun, D. Chen. H.F. Shen, W. Cai: "Transparent adaptation of single-user applications for multi-user real-time collaboration," ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 13, No.4, December 2006, pp.531-582.
- C. Sun: "Undo as concurrent inverse in group editors," ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2002, pp.309-361.
- C. Sun, X. Jia, Y. Zhang, Y. Yang, D. Chen: "Achieving convergence, causality-preservation, and intention-preservation in real-time cooperative editing systems," ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol.5, No.1, March, 1998, pp.63-108.
- C. Sun and C.A. Ellis: "Operational Transformation in Real-Time Group Editors: Issues, Algorithms, and Achievements,” Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp.59-68, Seattle, USA, Nov 14-18, 1998.
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