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A Tool to Study the Evolution of the Domain of a Distributed Community of Practice FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS The CA is still a research prototype and it should be tested and refined in order to be effectively used as a tool to study CoPs. It is possible to use it to study some aspects of CoPs as illustrated in this chapter, but its interface and functionalities should be improved. Its interface should be more dynamic because, in the prototype, the user can not choose the period of time used for the analysis (we used seven days or 30 days). Furthermore, as the visualization is not flexible, users can not choose the time period covered by the visualization and need to print the results to analyze them. For both limitations, there are potential technological solutions available that should be evaluated. As each community demands a specific ontol- ogy and the CA is sensitive to the quality of the ontology, it is interesting to use a methodology to build such an ontology. A methodology should help CONCLUSION Although developed to support the coordination of distributed CoPs, the Community Agent could be used as a tool to help the study of distributed CoPs. It provides graphs with information about the community domain and the participation of its members. Using the CA, we were able to observe the fluctuation in the level of participation, the members' behavior, the most relevant subjects and the evolution of the domain of a group participat- ing in a discussion list. We consider that the elaboration of methods, techniques and tools to study distributed CoP is a stimulating research subject. Although distributed CoPs share some characteristics with their col- located counterparts, geographically distributed members face different problems as the distance among members, the lack of awareness of other members, the higher number of members and the