AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Task Context for Knowledge Workers
Mik Kersten, Gail C Murphy

Last modified: 2012-07-15


Knowledge workers work on many different tasks and must often switch between those tasks. In earlier work, we have shown the benefits of automatically capturing contexts for tasks for a specific category of knowledge worker, software programmers. Captured contexts facilitate task switches and reduce information overload by enabling the display of only the information relevant to the task-at-hand. In this paper, we describe the results of two studies of the use of captured contexts for a broad range of knowledge workers. The first study we describe is a field study of eight knowledge workers who used the model in their daily work for up to 25 days on tasks involving both file and web documents. We found that these knowledge workers need information to decay from their context and that our model is adequate at automatically trimming contexts. The second study is a case study of the use of contexts to support the operations of a software development company. We analyzed task contexts from hundreds of days of work from three users and found similar trends of information decaying from contexts. Results from each study also shed more light on the nature of mixed artifact task contexts.


task management; degree-of-interest; empirical study

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