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Method and Apparatus employing Heuristic Processing for improved Diarying Function Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114547D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Mar-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 3 page(s) / 51K

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Enhanced Diary function involving autonomic capabilities for meeting management

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Method and Apparatus employing Heuristic Processing for improved Diarying Function

This article concerns the Diary function of groupware (for example: *IBM's Lotus Notes or **Microsoft's Office suite)

    A common function is the concept of a Diary to hold engagements. The Diary implementation heavily borrows from the concept of a paper-diary. In particular, the Diary holds meetings of a group of people. Software sends out meeting notices to the participants, and collates the responses of WillAttend/Won'tBeAround for the meeting. Meetings usually repeat on a defined schedule and in a given place. The attendees of such meetings are usually fixed. Problems arise when invitations to repeating meetings are sent to people who no longer want (or need) to be present. These erroneous invitations clog up inboxes, reserve time unnecessarily and generally require manual interventions on the recipients behalf to get rid of these unwanted items.

The way repeating meetings are scheduled is in one of two ways:

a: A single invite is issued (to all attendees) which embodies the concept of several meeting instances occurring at regular times in the same location with the same attendees (for example: In room R101 every Monday in August at 1pm to 2pm). This type of processing will be referred to as Single Invitation processing (SIP); and

b: An individual invite is issued for each of the meetings (to each attendee). Thus, in this case, the meeting in room R101 every Monday in August from 1pm to 2pm would cause 4 discrete invitations (one for each day) to be sent out to all recipients (ie: 4 in all to each person). These would, in turn, appear in the users Calendar as four separate events. This is referred to as Multiple Invitation Processing (MIP).

    Problems arise when the attendees of such repeating meetings alters (by addition of new members or the removal of invitees who no longer wish/need to attend the meeting). Once either a SIP or a MIP is issued, the resulting appointment is entered into the attendees Calendar as fixed events. If the person no longer wishes to attend the meeting, he/she has to manually delete the Calendar entries (in order to free up these times for other usages). Similarly, new attendees have to manually reserve the time slot (until the next set of MIP or SIP is generated). These operations are manual (and so wasteful of human resource) and depend upon operator commands and complex user interface processing to correctly manipulate the users Calendar function.

    In addition, the coordinator (or Chairman/woman) of the meeting usually has control over the invitation process (or a suitable authorised deputy). Additions and deletions of attendees have to be notified to this person (or set of persons) to alter the meeting attendee list for subsequent instances. Again, this is error prone (due to manual intervention), tedious and time expensive.

    This article introduces a new approach to meeting scheduling called Heuristic Invitation Proces...