Developing a model of distributed sensemaking: a case study of military analysis

Wheat, Ashley, Attfield, Simon ORCID logoORCID: and Fields, Bob ORCID logoORCID: (2016) Developing a model of distributed sensemaking: a case study of military analysis. Informatics, 3 (1) , 1. ISSN 2227-9709 [Article] (doi:10.3390/informatics3010001)

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In this paper, we examine the role of representational artefacts in sensemaking. Embodied within representational media, such as maps, charts and lists, are a number of affordances, which can furnish sensemakers with the ability to perform tasks that may be difficult to do inside the head. Presented here is a study of sensemaking in action. We conducted a study of military intelligence analysts carrying out a training exercise, the analysis of which focuses on the use of external task-specific representations. We present a discussion of the findings of our study in the form of a model of distributed sensemaking. Our model concentrates on the interaction of information and various representational artefacts, leading to the generation of insights and a situation picture. We also introduce a number of levels of description for examining the properties and affordances offered by representational artefacts and their role in the sensemaking process.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 19812
Notes on copyright: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (
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Depositing User: Bob Fields
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 10:21
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 22:05

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