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The effect of modality on social presence, presence and performance in collaborative virtual environments
KTH, Superseded Departments, Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, NADA.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3743-100X
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Humans rely on all their senses when interacting with others in order to communicate and collaborate efficiently. In mediated interaction the communication channel is more or less constrained, and humans have to cope with the fact that they cannot get all the information that they get in face-to-face interaction. The particular concern in this thesis is how humans are affected by different multimodal interfaces when they are collaborating with another person in a shared virtual environment. One aspect considered is how different modalities affect social presence, i.e. people’s ability to perceive the other person’s intentions and emotions. Another aspect investigated is how different modalities affect people’s notion of being present in a virtual environment that feels realistic and meaningful. Finally, this thesis attempts to understand how human behavior and efficiency in task performance are affected when using different modalities for collaboration.

In the experiment presented in articles A and B, a shared virtual environment that provided touch feedback was used, making it possible to feel the shape, weight and softness of objects as well as collisions between objects and forces produced by another person. The effects of touch feedback on people’s task performance, perceived social presence, perceived presence and perceived task performance were investigated in tasks where people manipulated objects together. Voice communication was possible during the collaboration. Touch feedback improved task performance significantly, making it both faster and more precise. People reported significantly higher levels of presence and perceived performance, but no difference was found in the perceived social presence between the visual only condition and the condition with touch feedback.

In article C an experiment is presented, where people performed a decision making task in a collaborative virtual environment (CVE) using avatar representations. They communicated either by text-chat, a telephone connection or a video conference system when collaborating in the CVE. Both perceived social presence and perceived presence were significantly lower in the CVE text-chat condition than in the CVE telephone and CVE video conference conditions. The number of words and the tempo in the dialogue as well as the task completion time differed significantly for persons that collaborated using CVE text-chat compared to those that used a telephone or a video conference in the CVE. The tempo in the dialogue was also found to be significantly higher when people communicated using a telephone compared to a video conference system in CVEs. In a follow-up experiment people performed the same task using a website instead, with no avatar but with the same information content as before. Subjects communicated either by telephone or a video conference iv system. Results from the follow-up experiment showed that people that used a telephone completed tasks significantly faster than those that used a video conference system, and that the tempo in the dialogue was significantly higher in the web environments than in the CVEs. Handing over objects is a common event during collaboration in face-to face interaction. In the experiment presented in article D and E, the effects of providing touch feedback was investigated in a shared virtual environment in which subjects passed a series of cubic objects to each other and tapped them at target areas. Subjects could not communicate verbally during the experiment. The framework of Fitts’ law was applied and it was hypothesized that object hand off constituted a collaboratively performed Fitts’ law task, with target distance to target size ratio as a fundamental performance determinant.

Results showed that task completion time indeed linearly increased with Fitts’ index of difficulty, both with and without touch feedback. The error rate was significantly lower in the condition with touch feedback than in the condition with only visual feedback. It was also found that touch feedback significantly increased people’s perceived presence, social presence and perceived performance in the virtual environment. The results presented in article A and E analyzed together, suggest that when voice communication is provided the effect of touch feedback on social presence might be overshadowed. However, when verbal communication is not possible, touch proves to be important for social presence.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2004. , x, 103 p.
Series
Trita-NA, ISSN 0348-2952 ; 0404
Keyword [en]
collaborative virtual environments, modalities, media richness, social presence, presence, communication media, haptic force feedback
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3717ISBN: 91-7283-707-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3717DiVA: diva2:9557
Public defence
2004-03-24, 00:00
Note
QC 20100630Available from: 2004-03-08 Created: 2004-03-08 Last updated: 2010-06-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Supporting presence in collaborative environments by haptic force feedback
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting presence in collaborative environments by haptic force feedback
2000 (English)In: ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, ISSN 1073-0516, E-ISSN 1557-7325, Vol. 7, no 4, 461-476 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An experimental study of interaction in a collaborative desktop virtual environment is described. The aim of the experiment was to investigate if added haptic force feedback in such an environment affects perceived virtual presence, perceived social presence, perceived task performance, and task performance. A between-group design was employed, where seven pairs of subjects used an interface with graphic representation of the environment, audio connection, and haptic force feedback. Seven other pairs of subjects used an interface without haptic force feedback, but with identical features otherwise. The PHANToM, a one-point haptic device, was used for the haptic force feedback, and a program especially developed for the purpose provided the virtual environment. The program enables for two individuals placed in different locations to simultaneously feel and manipulate dynamic objects in a shared desktop virtual environment. Results show that haptic force feedback significantly improves task performance, perceived task performance, and pereceived virtual presence in the collaborative distributed environment. The results suggest that haptic force feedback increases perceived social presence, but the difference is not significant.

National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13856 (URN)10.1145/365058.365086 (DOI)
Note
QC 20100630Available from: 2010-06-30 Created: 2010-06-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Improved precision in mediated collaborative manipulation of objects by haptic force feedback
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improved precision in mediated collaborative manipulation of objects by haptic force feedback
2001 (English)In: Haptic human-computer interaction: proceedings, 2001, Vol. 2058, 69-75 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The extent that haptic force feedback affects people's ability to collaborate in a mediated way has not been investigated much. In this paper an experiment is presented where collaboration in a distributed desktop virtual environment with haptic force feedback was studied. A video analysis of the frequency of failures to lift cubes collaboratively in a haptic condition compared to a condition with no haptic force feedback was conducted. The frequency of failures to lift cubes collaboratively is a measure of precision in task performance. The statistical analysis of the data shows that it is significantly more difficult to lift objects collaboratively in a three-dimensional desktop virtual environment without haptic force feedback.

Series
LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 2058
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13862 (URN)000174223300008 ()3-540-42356-7 (ISBN)
Conference
First international workshop, Glasgow, UK, August 31-September 1, 2000
Note
QC 20100630Available from: 2010-06-30 Created: 2010-06-30 Last updated: 2010-06-30Bibliographically approved
3. Effects of communication mode on social presence, virtual presence, and performance in collaborative virtual environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of communication mode on social presence, virtual presence, and performance in collaborative virtual environments
2005 (English)In: Presence - Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, ISSN 1054-7460, E-ISSN 1531-3263, Vol. 14, no 4, 434-449 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How does communication mode affect people's experience of social presence, presence, and performance, and how does it affect their actual collaboration in a virtual environment? In a first experiment, subjects communicated by text-chat, audio conference, or video conference in a desk-top collaborative virtual environment (CVE). Both perceived social presence and presence were shown to be lower in the text-chat condition than in the audio- and video-conference conditions. People spent a longer time performing a decision-making task together, spoke fewer words in total, and also spoke fewer words per second in the text-chat environment. Finally, more words per second were spoken in the audio-conference than in the video-conference condition. In a second experiment, collaboration in a CVE audio- and a CVE video condition was compared to collaboration in a Web audioconference and a Web video-conference condition. Results showed that presence was rated higher in the two video than in the two audio conditions and especially in the Web video condition. People spent more time in the video than in the audio conditions and more words per second were spoken in the Web than in the CVE conditions. In conclusion, it was found that both the communication media used and the environment in which collaboration takes place (CVE or Web) make a difference for how subjects experience interaction and for their communication behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005
Keyword
FACE-TO-FACE, MEDIATED COMMUNICATION, VIDEO, BEHAVIOR, AUDIO, TEAMS
National Category
Software Engineering Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13863 (URN)000231909900005 ()2-s2.0-25444446130 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100630Available from: 2010-06-30 Created: 2010-06-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Collaboration meets Fitts' law: Passing virtual objects with and without haptic force feedback
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Collaboration meets Fitts' law: Passing virtual objects with and without haptic force feedback
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of INTERACT 2003, Amsterdam: IOS Press , 2003, 97-104 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Handing over objects is a common event during collaboration in face-to-face interaction. Weinvestigate how such an event can be supported when the interaction takes place in virtual space. In a formalexperiment, subjects passed a series of cubic objects to each other and tapped them at target areas. Theirperformance with and without haptic force feedback was evaluated. Furthermore, we placed our study in theframework of Fitts’ law and hypothesized that object hand off constituted a collaboratively performed Fitts’ lawtask. Our results showed that task completion time indeed linearly increased with Fitts’ index of difficulty, bothwith and without force feedback. The time required for passing objects did not differ significantly between thehaptic and nonhaptic condition. However, the error rate was significantly lower with haptic feedback thanwithout.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2003
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13859 (URN)
Conference
IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Note
QC 20100630Available from: 2010-06-30 Created: 2010-06-30 Last updated: 2010-06-30Bibliographically approved
5. Passing virtual objects collaboratively withand without haptic feedback: Effects on social presence, virtual presenceand perceived performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Passing virtual objects collaboratively withand without haptic feedback: Effects on social presence, virtual presenceand perceived performance
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13861 (URN)
Note
QC 20100630Available from: 2010-06-30 Created: 2010-06-30 Last updated: 2010-06-30Bibliographically approved

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