Collaborative Editing Research: from Academic Curiosity to Real-World Applications


Nowadays, collaborative editing systems, such Google Docs, Microsoft Office Online, Dropbox Paper, Box Notes, and CodoxWave (for supporting read-time editing in a wide range of existing web browser-based editors, including Gmail, Wikipedia, Evernote, and WordPress), are ubiquitous and commonly used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Research on collaborative editing, however, started in the 1980s as a niche area (with a small number of persistent researchers) in the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and was driven mainly by academic curiosity. This niche area has been continuously evolving for over 3 decades and eventually resulted in a large scale adoption in major industry products in recent years. In this talk, the speaker will reflects on the evolution of collaborative editing research and application, including representative academic research projects, industrial products, and open source projects. He will also share his insights on conducting impactful research in this area, and on current trends, opportunities and challenges in future collaborative editing research and real-world applications.


Prof. Chengzheng SUN
Nanyang Technological University

Date & Time

28 Sep 2017 (Thursday) 14:30 - 15:30


E11-4045 (University of Macau)

Organized by

Department of Computer and Information Science


Dr. Chengzheng Sun is a full professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore ( In over two decades, Dr Sun has been an active researcher, leader and chief designer of a number of collaborative editing system projects, including CoWord, CoPowerPoint, CoMaya, etc. and the underlying Operational Transformation (OT) technology, which have made important contributions to the theory and practical implementation of collaborative computing systems. He has also acted as an advisor for several industrial collaborative editing system projects. Prof Sun obtained a PhD in computer engineering from National University of Defense Technology, China in 1987, and a PhD in computer science from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1992. His current research lies at the intersections of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and distributed/cloud computing systems. Dr Sun has published extensively and delivered seminars and tutorials on collaborative editing techniques and systems widely at major international conferences, universities, and industrial research labs.