AUTONOMIC TIME MANAGEMENT CALENDAR SYSTEM

US 2009 125 365A1

drawing #0

Show all 6 drawings

A method, system, and computer program product for autonomically managing a meeting calendar. An Autonomic Meeting Scheduling (AMS) utility detects a set of pre-scheduling data. The AMS utility generates an optimal meeting schedule based upon the set of pre-scheduling data. A meeting invitation is communicated to at least one meeting invitee. The AMS utility detects an invitation reply data from a meeting invitee. Based upon the pre-scheduling data and the invitation reply data, the AMS utility generates and outputs one of at least a meeting probability value (MPV) and a MPV curve. The MPV is a measure of how probable a scheduled meeting will occur. Moreover, a meeting owner may enable the AMS utility to determine whether the MPV has reached a threshold to execute a scheduling decision (i.e., retain a scheduled meeting, reschedule a meeting, or cancel/extinguish a scheduled meeting).

PatentSwarm provides a collaborative workspace to search, highlight, annotate, and monitor patent data.

Start free trial Sign in

Tip: Select text to highlight, annotate, search, or share the selection.

Claims

1. In a computing device, a method for autonomically managing a meeting calendar comprising:
detecting a set of pre-scheduling data;
generating an optimal meeting schedule based upon the pre-scheduling data;
communicating a meeting invitation;
detecting an invitation reply data;
generating and outputting a meeting probability value (MPV) based on pre-scheduling data and invitation reply data;
automatically determining whether MPV has reached a threshold to execute a scheduling decision;
in response to the MPV reaching a threshold, generating the scheduling decision; and
responsive to generating the scheduling decision, updating a meeting schedule of a meeting invitee and a meeting owner.

Show 3 dependent claims

5. A computer system comprising:
a processor unit;
a memory coupled to the processor unit; and
an Autonomic Meeting Scheduling (AMS) utility executing on the processor unit and having executable code for:
detecting a set of pre-scheduling data;
generating an optimal meeting schedule based upon the pre-scheduling data;
communicating a meeting invitation;
detecting an invitation reply data;
generating and outputting a meeting probability value (MPV) based on pre-scheduling data and invitation reply data;
automatically determining whether MPV has reached a threshold to execute a scheduling decision;
in response to the MPV reaching a threshold, generating the scheduling decision; and
responsive to generating the scheduling decision, updating a meeting schedule of a meeting invitee and a meeting owner.

Show 3 dependent claims

9. A computer program product comprising:
a computer storage medium; and
program code on the computer storage medium that when executed provides the functions of:
detecting a set of pre-scheduling data;
generating an optimal meeting schedule based upon the pre-scheduling data;
communicating a meeting invitation;
detecting an invitation reply data;
generating and outputting a meeting probability value (MPV) based on pre-scheduling data and invitation reply data;
automatically determining whether MPV has reached a threshold to execute a scheduling decision;
in response to the MPV reaching a threshold, generating the scheduling decision; and
responsive to generating the scheduling decision, updating a meeting schedule of a meeting invitee and a meeting owner.

Show 3 dependent claims

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates in general to interface technologies and in particular to display interface technologies. Still more particularly, the present invention relates to an improved method and system for autonomically managing an electronic meeting calendar.

2. Description of the Related Art

The need to collaborate with other individuals is sometimes essential for team-driven projects to be completed. Such collaboration is largely achieved when one member of a team (e.g., a meeting owner) schedules a meeting with the various other members of the team (i.e., meeting invitees). However, the meeting owner's scheduling task becomes increasingly difficult as a result of the invitees' conflicting schedules. In some situations, a meeting invitee that is of high rank within an organization may receive more meeting invitations than is physically possible for that person to attend. As a result, negotiation is sometimes undertaken to draw a high-ranking invitee to accept the invitation to a particular meeting.

Under existing calendar systems, the acts of (a) scheduling a meeting and (b) determining the viability that the meeting will take place at the scheduled date and time are largely manual process that is performed by the meeting owner. While, existing calendar systems sometimes permit a meeting owner to view the individual schedules of the meeting invitees, the meeting owner is ultimately responsible for manually determining the most convenient time to schedule the meeting. In cases where there are schedule conflicts, the meeting owner must directly communicate with the conflicted invitees to arrive at a scheduling compromise. Other manual steps that the meeting owner must undertake in the scheduling and meeting viability determination processes include: (i) timely checking each returned response (i.e., acceptance or rejection) from the various invitees, (ii) tallying the returned responses, and (iii) determining whether a quorum of critical invitees has been reached. Following these manual tasks, if it is determined that the scheduled meeting will not take place, the meeting owner must go back through the same manual steps to re-schedule the meeting in a new time slot. Such methods and systems for managing a meeting calendar are not time efficient for a meeting owner.

SUMMARY OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Disclosed is a method, system, and computer program product for autonomically managing a meeting calendar of a meeting owner and one or more meeting invitees. A set of pre-scheduling data is detected. The set of pre-scheduling data includes one or more of: the number of invitees, the identification of each invitee, the organizational importance of the meeting owner and each meeting invitee, the attendance priority of each invitee, the threshold for a scheduling decision, and schedule information of each invitee. An optimal meeting schedule is then generated based upon the pre-scheduling data. A meeting invitation is communicated to each meeting invitee. An invitation reply data is detected, which includes, but is not limited to an acceptance of the scheduled meeting and a declining of the scheduled meeting. At least one of a meeting probability value (MPV) and a MPV curve is generated. The MPV and MPV curve are two indicators that quantify the probability that the scheduled meeting will occur. Moreover, an automatic determination is made whether the MPV has reached a threshold for execution of a scheduling decision. If a threshold has been reached, a scheduling decision is outputted. Further responsive to the generation of a scheduling decision, a meeting schedule corresponding to the meeting owner and the meeting invitee is then updated.

According to one embodiment of the invention, a user override condition responsive to a meeting schedule overlap condition between meeting owners of unequal organizational importance is detected. According to yet another embodiment of the invention, historical meeting data regarding past meeting invitation decisions of particular invitees is detected. The historical meeting data is used to autonomically modify the weighting of the pre-scheduling data used to calculate the MPV. The above as well as additional objectives, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed written description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further purposes and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, where:

FIG. 1 depicts a high level block diagram of an exemplary data processing system, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary graphical display of a meeting criteria interface (MCI), that is useful for understanding the invention;

FIG. 3 shows an exemplary graphical display of a meeting probability value (MPV) curve, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 4A and 4B represent individual parts of a high level logical flowchart of an exemplary method of managing a meeting calendar, according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

The illustrative embodiments provide a method, system, and computer program product for autonomically managing a meeting calendar. In particular, an autonomic meeting scheduling (AMS) utility determines the probability of whether a scheduled meeting will occur. The probability is determined by calculating a meeting probability value (MPV), which is based upon a ratio of a total number of invitees versus a total number of accepted invitations. In addition, a set of weighted factors are applied to this ratio, based upon various meeting criteria attributes, such as: (i) the criticality of a particular invitee's meeting acceptance and (ii) the ranking of the particular invitee in an organizational hierarchy. The AMS utility also collects and utilizes historical meeting data regarding past meeting invitation decisions of particular invitees (i.e., acceptances/rejections) to autonomically modify the weighting of the factors used to calculate the MPV.

The AMS utility outputs the MPV or an MPV curve (i.e., a curve that plots the MPV over the life cycle of a meeting from invitation date to the actual meeting date) to the meeting owner, as well as to the meeting invitees. The outputting of the MPV/MPV curve is intended to provide the meeting owner and meeting invitees with a current statistical probability of whether a meeting will actually occur as originally scheduled. In the case of the meeting invitee, the meeting invitee can thus make a better informed decision whether to accept or reject the meeting invitation. At the same time, the meeting owner is made aware of the likelihood of the AMS utility suggesting or actually executing the retention, cancellation, and/or rescheduling of the scheduled meeting date.

In the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, specific exemplary embodiments in which the invention may be practiced are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical, architectural, programmatic, mechanical, electrical and other changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.

It is understood that the use of specific component, device and/or parameter names are for example only and not meant to imply any limitations on the invention. The invention may thus be implemented with different nomenclature/terminology utilized to describe the components/devices/parameters herein, without limitation. Each term utilized herein is to be given its broadest interpretation given the context in which that term is utilized.

With reference now to FIG. 1, depicted is a block diagram representation of data processing system (DPS) 100. DPS 100 comprises at least one processor or central processing unit (CPU) 105 connected to system memory 115 via system interconnect/bus 110. Also connected to system bus 110 is I/O controller 120, which provides connectivity and control for input devices, of which pointing device (or mouse) 125 and keyboard 127 are illustrated, and output devices, of which display 129 is illustrated. Additionally, multimedia drive 128 (e.g., CDRW or DVDRW drive) and Universal Serial Bus (USB) hub 126 are illustrated, coupled to I/O controller 120. Multimedia drive 128 and USB hub 126 may operate as both input and output (storage) mechanisms. DPS 100 also comprises storage 117, within which data/instructions/code may be stored. DPS 100 is also illustrated with network interface device (NID) 150 coupled to system bus 110. NID 150 enables DPS 100 to connect to one or more remote servers 165 via access networks 170, such as the Internet.

In the described embodiments, when access network 170 is the Internet, access network 170 represents a worldwide collection of networks and gateways that utilize the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite of protocols to communicate with one another. Of course, network access may also be provided via a number of different types of networks, such as an intranet, an Ethernet, a Local Area Network (LAN), a Virtual Private Network (VPN), or other Wide Area Network (WAN) other than the Internet, for example.

Notably, in addition to the above described hardware components of DPS 100, various features of the invention are completed via software (or firmware) code or logic stored within system memory 115, in other storage (e.g., storage 117), or stored remotely in memory of server 165 and executed by CPU 105. System memory 115 is defined as a lowest level of volatile memory (not shown), including, but not limited to, cache memory, registers, and buffers. In one embodiment, data/instructions/code stored in remote memory of remote server 165 populates the system memory 115, which is also coupled to system bus 110. In another embodiment, the data/instructions/code are stored and executed remotely from remote server 165 and accessed by DPS 100 via NID 150.

Illustrated within system memory 115 are a number of software/firmware components, including operating system (OS) 130 (e.g., Microsoft Windows®, a trademark of Microsoft Corp; or GNU®/Linux®, registered trademarks of the Free Software Foundation and The Linux Mark Institute; or Advanced Interactive eXecutive -AIX-, registered trademark of International Business MachinesIBM), applications 135, Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) 140 and Autonomic Meeting Scheduling (AMS) utility 145. For simplicity, AMS utility 145 is illustrated and described as a stand alone or separate software/firmware component, which is stored in system memory 115 to provide/support the specific novel functions described herein.

CPU 105 executes AMS utility 145 as well as OS 130, which supports the user interface features of AMS utility 145. In the illustrative embodiment, AMS utility 145 facilitates the autonomic management of a meeting calendar. Among the software code/instructions provided by AMS utility 145, and which are specific to the invention, are code for: (a) detecting a set of pre-scheduling data from a meeting owner and at least one meeting invitee; (b) generating an optimal meeting schedule based upon the pre-scheduling data; (c) communicating a meeting invitation (d) detecting invitation reply data; (e) generating and outputting one of at least a meeting probability value (MPV) and a MPV curve based on pre-scheduling data and invitation reply data; (f) automatically determining whether MPV has reached a threshold to execute a scheduling decision; and (g) outputting the scheduling decision. In response to the outputting of the scheduling decision, AMS utility 145 also includes code for (h) updating an invitee schedule and an owner schedule. Moreover, according to one alternative embodiment, AMS utility 145 detects a user override condition in the event of a meeting schedule overlap condition between meeting owners of unequal organizational importance.

For simplicity of the description, the collective body of code that enables these various features is referred to herein as AMS utility 145. According to the illustrative embodiment, when CPU 105 executes AMS utility 145, DPS 100 initiates a series of functional processes that enable the above functional features as well as additional features/functionality, which are described below within the description of FIGS. 2-4.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the hardware and basic configuration depicted in FIG. 1 may vary. For example, other devices/components may be used in addition to or in place of the hardware depicted. The depicted example is not meant to imply architectural limitations with respect to the present invention. The data processing system depicted in FIG. 1 may be, for example, an IBM System p5, a product of International Business Machines Corporation in Armonk, N.Y., running the AIX operating system or LINUX operating system.

Within the descriptions of the figures, similar elements are provided similar names and reference numerals as those of the previous figure(s). Where a later figure utilizes the element in a different context or with different functionality, the element is provided a different leading numeral representative of the figure number (e.g., 1xx for FIG. 1 and 2xx for FIG. 2). The specific numerals assigned to the elements are provided solely to aid in the description and not meant to imply any limitations (structural or functional) on the invention.

PatentSwarm provides a collaborative workspace to search, highlight, annotate, and monitor patent data.

Start free trial Sign in