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This paper describes a new collaborative technology that bridges the gap between ad hoc collaboration in email and more formal collaboration in structured shared workspaces. The approach is based on the notion of object-centric sharing, where users collaborate in a lightweight manner but aggregate and organize different types of shared artifacts into semi-structured activities with dynamic membership, hierarchical object relationships, as well as real-time and asynchronous collaboration. The paper presents a working prototype that implements object-centric sharing on the basis of a replicated peer-to-peer architecture. In order to keep replicated data consistent in such a dynamic environment with blended synchronous and asynchronous collaboration, the paper designed appropriate consistency control algorithms, which is described in detail.
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