[CEUR Workshop Proceedings] Vol-14

© 1998 for the individual papers by the papers' authors. Copying permitted for private and scientific purposes. Re-publication of material on this page requires permission by the copyright owners.

om-logo.gif (1637 Byte)

Building, Maintaining, and Using 
Organizational Memories

Proceedings of the 1st Workshop OM-98
Brighton, UK,  August 24-25, 1998.

Edited by

Andreas Abecker1
Stefan Decker2
Nada Matta3
Frank Maurer4
Ulrich Reimer5

1DFKI GmbH, Postfach 2080, D-67608 Kaiserslautern, Germany
2Universit„t Karlsruhe, Institut AIFB,  D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
3INRIA - ACACIA, BP. 93, 2004 Route des Lucioles, Sophia-Antipolis, France
4University of Calgary, Department of Computer Science, Alberta, Canada
5Rentenanstalt / Swiss Life, Information Systems Research Group, P.O.Box, CH-8022 Z’rich, Switzerland

OM-98 is held in conjunction with the 13th biennial European Conference on Artificial Intelligence  (ECAI-98).

Table of Contents

Paper No. 1

Using Case-Based Reasoning Technology to Build Learning Software Organizations

K.-D. Althoff, F. Bomarius, C. Tautz
Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) Sauerwiesen 6,
D-67661 Kaiserslautern, Germany


Abstract:Due to the ever increasing demands of the market, strategic management of knowledge assets, or Learning Organizations (LOs), are becoming a must in industrial software development. This paper presents work done at Fraunhofer IESE, where LOs for software development organizations are being developed and transferred into industrial practice. It describes how LOs for the software domain can be built upon both mature approaches from Software Engineering, like the Quality Improvement Paradigm (QIP) and Experience Factory Model (EF), and on industrial strength technology from AI, like Case Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). A system to support the Learning Software Organization (LSO) is sketched and experiences regarding the implementation of this system and LSOs in general are presented.

Paper available in: [HTML][PDF]

Paper No. 2

  Identifying Autonomous Agents for Capitalizing Knowledge in R&D environments

J.-P. A. Barthˆs (1), H. de Azevedo (2)  
(1) CNRS UMR 6599 HEUDIASYC Universit‰ de Technologie de Compiˆgne, France
(2) CEFET Curitiba, Parana, Brasil

Abstract: Whilst we have a number of techniques for building multiagent systems, such techniques assume that the number and role of each agent in the system is known a priori. Unfortunately it is rarely the case in practice, in particular when trying to build multiagent knowledge management systems in R&D environments exhibiting a high rate of turnover. Thus, we need specific analysis and design guidelines. The paper presents a new method, SAAS, for identifying and selecting a collectively agreed upon set of autonomous agents necessary to implement a system for capitalizing collective knowledge. The method borrows concepts from another method proposed by Grundstein for identifying strategic knowledge in production processes. SAAS was used to determine the number of agents necessary for capitalizing the knowledge of a research group in the MEMOLAB project at UTC.

Paper available in: [PostScript]

Paper No. 3

Accessing the Web: exploiting the DB paradigm

Tiziana Catarci, Luca Iocchi, Daniele Nardi, Giuseppe Santucci  
Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica Universit€ di Roma "La Sapienza" Via Salaria 113, 00198 Roma, Italy

Abstract: The open growth of the Internet, the amount of available information, and the typical access modality (i.e., browsing) cause the puzzled user to search for the information of interest in a labyrinth of links.Web-at-a-Glance (WAG) is a system aiming to allow the user to query (instead of browsing) the Web. The basic idea is to build, once the user has specified a generic domain of interest, the domain conceptual representation, to instantiate it with data extracted from Web sites (so to build a materialized view over the Web), and to query such a conceptual representation through an easy-to-use visual interface. Knowledge representation techniques are used for both the internal modeling of the conceptual representation and for supporting the automatic extraction of data from Web sites to feed the materialized view.

Paper available in: [HTML][PostScript]

Paper No. 4

  Organizational Learning and Experience Documentation in Industrial Software Projects

D. Landes, K. Schneider, and F. Houdek  
Daimler Benz AG Research and Technology D-89013 Ulm, Germany
{landes, k.schneider, houdek}@dbag.ulm.DaimlerBenz.com

Abstract: Currently, several projects within our company focus on learning from experiences in the software domain. Yet, there are no textbook recipes  how a process of organizational learning can be established. In particular, types of experiences must be identified that are potentially valuable for reuse. Furthermore, the organization and representation of such experiences must be defined in such a way that they can easily be retrieved and used for solving a new problem. In the paper, some midterm insights are provided that were gained during the examination of these issues in one of the projects mentioned above.

Paper available in: [HTML][PostScript]

Paper No. 5

  Editing Knowledge with "ATELIER FX"

J.-P. Poitou

Abstract: The present paper has two main points : the first is to give an anthropological overview of organizational memory –or rather the technological base of the corporation, as well as of the corporate knowledge management ; the second is to draw the implications of this approach for the development of an assistance system to the collective management of knowledge in the firm. The two topics are articulated around the concept of place. This notion, introduced by PŠcheux (1969), is central to both the present author’s sociological conception of knowledge distribution and management within the firm, on the one hand, and to the linguistic fundamentals of the ATELIER FX computer based tool-box on the other hand. According to PŠcheux, formulating as well as understanding a statement or a text, are contingent upon the individuals’ place in the social division of labor. In line with PŠcheux’s work on discourse analysis, it will be argued here, that the exploitation of situated knowledge should rest upon the actor himself. Accordingly, in order to satisfy this requirement, computer assistance to corporate knowledge management should consist neither in formalizing, nor in modeling, but rather in editing knowledge.

Paper available in: [HTML][PostScript]

Paper No. 6

Virtual Enterprise and Corporate Memory

Myriam Ribière, Nada Matta  
INRIA (project ACACIA) 2004 route des Lucioles BP. 93 06902 Sophia-Antipolis Cedex
{mribiere, nmatta}@sophia.inria.fr

Abstract: In Concurrent Engineering, several designers in different fields and from different enterprise collaborate to build a product. This organization is a temporal organizational structure, called virtual enterprise. In fact, once the project is realized, the virtual enterprise is dissolved, so the deal in such organization is to keep the volatile knowledge. In this paper, we propose a guide to elaborate a corporate memory in Concurrent Engineering by identifying the type of memory needed, the contents of memory according to its use during the Concurrent Engineering process.

Paper available in: [HTML][PostScript]

Paper No. 7


  Towards the use of user-centric meta-knowledge in applying organizational memory to email communications

D. G. Schwartz  
Graduate School of Business Administration Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Abstract: The communicative act in a learning organization is subject to a number of threats to its validity (Habermas 1981), in particular the comprehensibility, truth, trustworthiness, and appropriateness of a given message. Organizational Memories can be used to address these threats. Our focus is on email communications which suffers from the same threats identified by Habermas. The integration of email with an Organizational Memory can improve the quality of communication by applying people-centric meta-knowledge to appropriately link a given message to the OM. In this paper we expand upon the direction taken by earlier work of Abecker et al. (1997) with respect to the importance of the object-meta relationship and the use of meta-knowledge to manage (or rather to complete) an OM. We suggest that the focus of the meta-knowledge in an email application, should be on the roles, perspectives, and characteristics of the people in an organization rather than on knowledge description. This, we argue, will effectively insure that knowledge will not be disassociated from the people and the situation (Sierhuis and Clancey 1997). We present the HyperMail architecture and sample application to illustrate how formal meta-knowledge is used to re-associate informal email communications to an Organizational Memory.

Paper available in: [HTML][PostScript]

Paper No. 8

  Enriching Representations of Work to Support Organisational Learning

Tamara Sumner, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK
John Domingue, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK
Zdenek Zdrahal, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK
Marek Hatala, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia
Alan Millican, BAe Virtual University, UK
Jayne Murray, BAe Virtual University, UK
Knut Hinkelmann, DFKI, DE
Ansgar Bernardi, DFKI, DE
Stefan Wess, TecInno, DE
Ralph Traph÷ner, TecInno, DE

Abstract: "Businesses spend up to $100 billion each year to train workers. Yet estimates are that less than 10% of this training transfers to the job. So business wastes $90 billion each year...."  [Review on US training effectiveness (Detterman 1993)]  Current theories of learning reveal why this is so: the process of acquiring knowledge cannot be separated from the process of applying it. Integrating working and learning is not a desirable luxury -- it is a fundamental requirement for businesses to remain competitive. In this document, we describe our research approach for investigating this challenge and our expected outcomes. This project has been recently funded by ESPRIT in the IT for Learning and Training in Industry programme. This document is based on the proposal and we welcome comments on our approach from the workshop participants.

Paper available in: [zipped PostScript]

Statements of Interest

Managing Dependency Knowledge for Software Development
Steffen Staab
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering
Nobelstr. 12, D¡70569 Stuttgart, Germany

Paper available in: [PostScript]

submitted by S. Decker, August, 15, 1998