Analysis of Meeting Protocols by Formalisation, Simulation and Verification

C.M. Jonker, M.C. Schut, J. Treur, P. Yolum

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Organizations depend on regular meetings to carry out their everyday tasks. When carried out successfully, meetings offer a common medium for participants to exchange ideas and make decisions. However, many meetings suffer from unfocused discussions or irrelevant dialogues. To study meetings in detail, we first formalize general properties of meetings and a generic meeting protocol to specify how roles in a meeting should interact to realize these properties. This generic protocol is used as a starting point to study real-life meetings. Next, an example meeting is simulated using the generic meeting protocol. The general properties are formally verified in the simulation trace. Next, these properties are also verified formally against empirical data of a real meeting in the same context. A comparison of the two traces reveals that a real meeting is more robust since when exceptions happen and the rules of the protocol are violated, these exceptions are handled effectively. Given this observation, a more refined protocol is specified that includes exception-handling strategies. Based on this refined protocol a meeting is simulated that closely resembles the real meeting. This protocol is then validated against another set of data from another real meeting. By iteratively adding exception handling rules, the protocol is enhanced to handle a variety of situations successfully. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-314
JournalComputational and Mathematical Organization Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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