Abstracts

(Abstracts of publications are in reverse chronological order)

CommunitySensor: towards a participatory community network mapping methodology

Aldo de Moor (2017)

In The Journal of Community Informatics, 13(2):35-58.

Participatory community network mapping can support collaborative sensemaking within and across communities and their surrounding stakeholder networks. We introduce the CommunitySensor methodology under construction. After summarizing earlier work, we show how the methodology uses a cyclical approach by adopting a Community Network Development Cycle that embeds a Community Network Sensemaking Cycle. We list some observations from practice about using community network mapping for making inter-communal sense. We discuss how extending the methodology with a pattern-driven approach benefits the building of bridges across networked communities, as well as the sharing of generalized lessons learnt. To this purpose, a community collaboration pattern language is essential. We show initial work in developing and using such a language by examining the cross-case evolution of core community network interaction patterns.

[Paper]

Community Digital Storytelling for Collective Intelligence: towards a Storytelling Cycle of Trust

Sarah Copeland and Aldo de Moor (2017)

In AI & Society, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-017-0744-1

Digital storytelling has become a popular method for curating community, organisational, and individual narratives. Since its beginnings over 20 years ago, projects have sprung up across the globe, where authentic voice is found in the narration of lived experiences. Contributing to a Collective Intelligence for the Common Good, the authors of this paper ask how shared stories can bring impetus to community groups to help identify what they seek to change, and how digital storytelling can be effectively implemented in community partnership projects to enable authentic voices to be carried to other stakeholders in society. The Community Digital Storytelling (CDST) method is introduced as a means for addressing community-of-place issues. There are five stages to this method: preparation, story telling, story digitisation, digital story sense-making, and digital story sharing. Additionally, a Storytelling Cycle of Trust framework is proposed. We identify four trust dimensions as being imperative foundations in implementing community digital media interventions for the common good: legitimacy, authenticity, synergy, and commons. This framework is concerned with increasing the impact that everyday stories can have on society; it is an engine driving prolonged storytelling. From this perspective, we consider the ability to scale up the scope and benefit of stories in civic contexts. To illustrate this framework, we use experiences from the CDST workshop in northern Britain and compare this with a social innovation project in the southern Netherlands.

[Paper]

Collaborative Sensemaking: Bootstrapping a Pattern-Driven Participatory Community Mapping Methodology

Aldo de Moor (2016)

Accepted for Proc. of the 13th Prato CIRN Conference 2-4 November 2016, Monash Centre, Prato Italy. (A revised version is to appear in the Journal of Community Informatics)

Participatory community mapping can support collaborative sensemaking within and across communities and their surrounding stakeholder networks. We list some observations from practice about using community mapping for making inter-communal sense. We outline how we are bootstrapping a methodology for pattern-driven participatory community mapping. We propose the need for a community collaboration pattern language, illustrating it with examples from the cross-case evolution of core community interaction patterns.

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Knowledge Weaving for Social Innovation: Laying the First Strand

Aldo de Moor (2015)

In Proc. of the 12th Prato Community Informatics Research Network Conference, November 9-11, 2015, Prato, Italy , pp.51-64. ISBN 978-0-9874652-4-5.

Society consists of a web of interconnected communities. A large body of research and practice exists on how to make communities work. Still, the intersection and interaction of multiple communities - the development and use of their inter-communal commons - is ill-understood. Social innovation is the process in which relevant stakeholders jointly develop solutions to wicked problems that none of them can solve on their own. As such, it is a prime example of the need for multiple stakeholder communities collaborating. We propose a process for building a networked community-commons called knowledge weaving. This is a reflective sensemaking effort in which existing communal knowledge sharing practices, initiatives, and resources are tied together into coherent commons-based knowledge fabrics that support intercommunal collaboration, such as for social innovation. We illustrate the approach with the case of the European Social Innovation Week 2015 pre-events.

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Een Stadse Boeren Community Moet Je Samen Opkweken

Aldo de Moor (2015)

In Stadse Boeren voor Leefbaarheid: De Kracht van Groene Lijm

Stadslandbouw is helemaal in. Stadse boeren hebben een sterk gevoel bij een globale beweging te horen. Deze 'sense of community' is een belangrijke noodzakelijke voorwaarde om iets te kunnen bereiken. Maar hoe vertaal je die abstracte idealen in concrete actie? Niet individueel, maar met gelijkgestemden? En niet een continent verderop, maar hier in de buurt? Hoe krijg je al die groene kikkers in een gezamenlijke kruiwagen? En hoe krijg je die kruiwagen vervolgens waar hij nodig is?

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Communities in Context: Towards Taking Control of Their Tools in Common(s)

Aldo de Moor (2015)

In Journal of Community Informatics11(2)

In this exploratory paper, we outline some issues of inter-community socio-technical systems governance. Our purpose here is not to solve these issues, but to raise awareness about the complexity of socio-technical governance issues encountered in practice. We aim to expand on the rather abstract definition of community-based Internet governance as proposed in the Internet for the Common Good Declaration, exploring how it plays out in practice in actual collaborating communities. We introduce a simple conceptual model to frame these issues and illustrate them with a concrete case: the drafting and signing of the declaration. We show some of the shortcomings of and socio-technical fixes for Internet collaboration support in this particular case. We end this paper with a discussion on directions for strengthening the collaboration commons.

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CulTech2015: Cultural Diversity and Technology Design

Helen Ai He, Nemanja Memarovic, Amalia Sabiescu, Aldo de Moor (2015)

In Avram, Gabriela; De Cindio, Fiorella; Pipek, Volkmar (eds.), Proc. of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, Limerick, Ireland, 27-30 June, 2015., pp.153-156

With globalization and technological advances, people are increasingly coming into contact with others from different cultural backgrounds, particularly in place-based and virtual communities. Yet, cultural diversity – the diversity of community members’ cultural backgrounds – offers both significant benefits and challenges in the design, usage and evaluation of technologies. In this one-day workshop, we explore the role of cultural diversity in potentially informing, supporting, challenging or impacting the design of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within community contexts. To delve into this complex and multi-faceted space, we welcome workshop submissions that 1) engage broadly with the role of culture within technology design and usage for, with and by communities, as well as 2) proposals for approaches, tools, conceptual and methodological frameworks, case studies and best practices in community-based design that exploit cultural diversity as an asset and seek to encourage intercultural interactions. Our goal is to bring together academics and practitioners from different domains such as computer science, urban design, interactive art, anthropology and social sciences who share a common interest in exploring the design space of ICTs, culture and communities.

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Towards a participatory community mapping method: the Tilburg urban farming community case

Aldo de Moor (2015)

In Avram, Gabriela; De Cindio, Fiorella; Pipek, Volkmar (eds.), Proc. of the Work-In-Progress Track of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, Limerick, Ireland, 27-30 June, 2015. in: International Reports on Socio-Informatics (IRSI), 12(1), pp.73-82

Urban farming communities often consist of many disjoint initiatives, while having a strong need to overcome their fragmentation. Community mapping can help urban farmers make better sense of their collaboration. We describe a participatory community mapping approach being piloted in an urban farming community-building project in and around the city of Tilburg. The approach combines (1) a basic community mapping language, (2) a state of the art web-based community visualization tool, and (3) a participatory mapping process to support the community-building efforts. We outline the approach being developed and present initial results of applying it in the Tilburg case.

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Learning 3.0: Collaborating for Impact in Large Development Organizations

Nancy White, Rachel Cardone and Aldo de Moor (2014)

In Knowledge Management for Development Journal, 10(3):21-37

This discussion paper builds on the body of research and practice about technology stewardship originally explored in Digital Habitats, and on the findings from an initial probe into the experiences of five development agencies using collaboration platform technologies. The probe was conducted from September 2013 through February 2014. We propose a framework for looking at productive practices in selecting, configuring and supporting use of collaboration technologies in international development organizations by focusing on the opportunities that exist in the boundaries between different parts of a development organization and different kinds of interactions that lead to learning and development impact. We suggest that there is a very useful opportunity to expand this initial probe using collaboration pattern language and a complexity lens to develop a useful repertoire of technology stewarding practices for collaboration in international development with the goal of supporting greater impact of development work.

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Expanding the Academic Research Community - Building Bridges into Society with the Internet

Aldo de Moor (2014)

In T. Denison, M. Sarrica, and L. Stillman (eds.), Theories, Practices, and Examples for Community and Social Informatics, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne. ISBN 978-1-921867-62-0.

Academic research is under threat from issues like lack of resources, fraud, and societal isolation. Such issues weaken the academic research process, from the framing of research questions to the evaluation of impact. After (re)defining this process, we examine how the academic research community could be expanded using the Internet. We examine two existing science-society collaborations that focus on data collection and analysis and then proceed with a scenario that covers expanding research stages like research question framing, dissemination, and impact assessment.

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The "Kids’ Knowledge Base": Connecting Junior Science to Society

Aldo de Moor (2013)

In Proc. of Chi Sparks 2014 "Creating the Difference", April 3, The Hague, the Netherlands

Universities try to reinforce their connections with society in many different ways. Introducing children to science at an early age is an important part of this mission. The online “Kids’ Knowledge Base” is a key instrument for presenting showcases of various scientific fields to primary school children, thereby aiming to pique their curiosity. We outline the architecture and development process of the Kids’ Knowledge Base, and describe how it is increasingly being embedded in an ecosystem of online and physical tools, stakeholder networks, and activities. We show how it has been used since its launch in March 2013, and discuss how combining different modes of offline and online interaction helps to promote its overall usefulness and use. We discuss some applications and extensions of the current digital infrastructure and how these may help increase the quality and quantity of the online interactions with the knowledge base.

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Public Libraries as Social Innovation Catalysts

Aldo de Moor and Rutger van den Assem (2013)

In Proc. of the 10th Prato CIRN Conference “Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics”, Prato, Italy, Oct 28-30 2013.

Public libraries urgently need to reinvent their role in society. Through social innovation, libraries may adopt new functions and roles and even act as innovation catalysts in networks of increasingly interdependent stakeholders from different sectors. We investigate how to design such inter-sectoral public library innovations that are embedded in existing organizational practice and are both sustainable and scalable. We outline a practical social innovation sensemaking method based on a combination of a social innovation collaboration network model and process model. We show how we did an initial validation of the method using the results of two exploratory workshops with professionals in the Dutch public library world. We discuss the implications of this approach for expanding the role of public libraries from providing access to collections to becoming social innovation and community catalysts.

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Improving Communication for Collaboration in Social Innovation Projects - A Framework for Pragmatic Research

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2013)

In Proc. of the 2nd international SIGPrag Workshop on IT Artefact Design and Workpractice Improvement (ADWI-2013), June 5, 2013, Tilburg, the Netherlands

Nowadays, many innovation projects are based on the collaboration of multiple parties to co-create value. Communication is a critical success factor. This paper introduces a pragmatic research framework that aims to improve communication practices in innovation projects. The framework draws on a revised Theory of Communicative Action in which the boundaries between spheres are explicitly acknowledged, as well as Bourdieus practice concept and the theory of boundary spanning. In this way, justice can be done to the many different communities that are involved in social innovation and the various ways they interact.

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Creativity Meets Rationale - Collaboration Patterns for Social Innovation

Aldo de Moor (2013)

In J. Carroll (ed.), Creativity and Rationale: Enhancing Human Experience by Design, Springer, Berlin. ISBN 978-1-4471-4110-5

Collaborative communities require a wide range of face-to-face and online communication tools. Their socio-technical systems continuously grow, driven by evolving stakeholder requirements and newly available technologies. Designing tool systems that (continue to) match authentic community needs is not trivial. Collaboration patterns can help community members specify customized systems that capture their unique requirements, while reusing lessons learnt by other communnities. Such patterns are an excellent example of combining the strengths of creativity and rationale. In this chapter, we explore the role that collaboration patterns can play in designing the socio-technical infrastructure for collaborative communities. We do so via a cross-case analysis of three Dutch social innovation communities simultaneously being set-up. Our goal with this case study is two-fold: (1) understanding what social innovation is from a socio-technical lens and (2) exploring how the rationale of collaboration patterns can be used to develop creative socio-technical solutions for working communities.

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"It's the Conversation, Stupid!" Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities

Aldo de Moor and Mark Aakhus (2013)

In J.E. Lundström et al. (eds.), Managing Open Innovation Technologies, Springer, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-642-31649-4

Open innovation is about crossing boundaries to create networked synergies in/across collaborative communities. Conversations are the lifeblood of communities, building the common ground of shared meanings, beliefs, interests, norms, goals, trust and social capital. A fundamental challenge for open innovation lies in the successful craftingof the social media systemssupporting the community conversations. Innovationcommunities (which are not limited to business interests but also include public and civic organizations and communities) therefore need to continuously make sense of the conversation context of the toolsthey use. We provide a conceptual lens with which to examine this socio-technical conversation context. We illustrate the use of this lens with a plausible scenario of open innovation in the societal stakeholder networks around climate change research.

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Towards Sheltered Communication Systems Design: A Socio-Technical Perspective

Aldo de Moor (2012)

In Proc. of the 9th Community Informatics Research Network Conference, Prato, Italy, November 7-9, 2012.

Social media are powerful conversation technologies. However, exactly how social media afford and constrain complex social requirements in collaborative communities is still ill-understood. One of these requirements concerns the need for sheltered communication systems: systems that support and interlink spheres of stakeholder communication with different required degrees of opacity. We introduce our Socio-Technical Conversation Context Framework as a way to analyze and design such complex socio-technical communication systems. We use collaboration patterns grounded in this framework as conceptual building blocks to capture design lessons learnt about matching community requirements with enabling tool functionalities. We illustrate the approach with the "sheltered communications" lessons learnt in a Dutch case of developing an e-learning tool system for students with physical and mental limitations.

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De Openbare Bibliotheek als Stadslab

Emmeken van der Heijden and Aldo de Moor (2012)

In InformatieProfessional, januari/februari 2012, pp.26-30.

De openbare bibliotheek moet werken aan een hechte verankering in de lokale digitale en fysieke omgeving, zo stellen Van der Heijden en De Moor. De bibliotheek is immers een van de plaatsen in de stad waar kennis wordt gedeeld en waar kennisprocessen worden geinitieerd, gevolgd en gefaciliteerd. De openbare bibliotheek als onmisbare schakel in de kennisintensieve stad; de bibliotheek als stadslab.

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SBVR-Driven Information Governance: A Case Study in the Flemish Public Administration

Pieter De Leenheer, Aldo de Moor, and Stijn Christiaens (2011)

In A. Elçi, M. T. Koné, & M. A. Orgun(eds.), Semantic Agent Systems, Springer, Berlin, pp.68-88. ISBN 978-3-642-31649-4.

Databases persistently store data and provide standardised access to it for communities consisting of human as well as software agents. However, adequate information governance in such a bi-sortal setting requires more than that. Despite the rigorous formal structure that may have been imposed on a data set, if it cannot be disclosed to third parties, their value is practically zero. The ICT-outsourcing partnership between the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training (FMET) and EDS-Telindus, now HP, appreciated the subtle difference between data and information, and the need for more maturity regarding the governance of their vast (meta-)data landscape. This is shown by initiatives such as the development of a Data Warehouse and an Information Governance Organization.

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Knowledge Networks

Aldo de Moor (2011)

In G.A. Barnett (ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. ISBN 9781412979115.

Knowledge networks are very complex, ever-changing socio-technical hybrids, balancing a rich soup of social, technical, and meaning aspects. Knowledge networks will see increasingly sophisticated meshings of collaborative communities with communications infrastructure, knowledge resources, and services. New forms will continue to emerge that combine the unique capacity of collaborating human beings for interpreting the relevance of complex, evolving knowledge resources in the work contexts to which they are applied, with the power of ever more accessible, usable, and advanced information and communication technologies. Knowledge networks are our future.

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Inspraak Met Beleid

Joost Kircz and Aldo de Moor (2011)

In Openbaar Bestuur, Juni/Juli 2011:31-36

Inspraak is een wettelijk vastgelegd recht van de burger. Sociale media kunnen hierbij de band tussen burger en overheid versterken. Bij interactieve beleidsontwikkeling zouden alle fasen van de beleidsvorming moeten worden ondersteund, met name in een vorm waarin de burger een actievere rol speelt. Het kernprobleem hierbij is dat de procesarchitectuur die aan participatie-initiatieven ten grondslag ligt onduidelijk is. Een sociotechnische systeembenadering kan hierbij helpen.

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Using Collaboration Patterns for Contextualizing Roles in Community Systems Design

Aldo de Moor (2010)

In Proc. of the 7th Community Informatics Research Network Conference, Prato, Italy, October 27-29, 2010

Activation of collaborative communities is hampered by the communicative fragmentation that is at least partially caused by their distributed tool systems. We examine the role of domain, conversation, and functionality roles in modelling community activation. We show how collaboration patterns can be used to design appropriate socio-technical solutions. These patterns contextualize the various types of roles by linking them to the (1) relevant usage context (2) communicative workflow stages and (3) functionality components across the tool system.

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Conversations in Context: A Twitter Case for Social Media Systems Design

Aldo de Moor (2010)

In Proc. of I-SEMANTICS 2010, Graz, Austria, September 1-3, 2010

Conversations are the lifeblood of collaborative communities. Social media like microblogging tool Twitter have great potential for supporting these conversations. However, just studying the role of these media from a tool perspective is not sufficient. To fully unlock their power, they need to examined from a sociotechnical perspective. We introduce a socio-technical context framework which can be used to analyze the role of systems of tools supporting goal-oriented conversations. Central to this framework is the communicative workflow loop, which is grounded in the Language/Action Perspective. We show how socio-technical conversation contexts can be used to match the communicative requirements of collaborative communities with enabling tool functionalities. This social media systems design process is illustrated with a case on Twitter.

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Metadataroadmap voor de Vlaamse Overheid: een Berekende Sprong naar Informatiematuriteit

Pieter De Leenheer, Aldo de Moor, Stijn Christiaens (2010)

In Informatie, Juni 2010, pp.24-31

Adequaat informatiebeheer is meer dan alleen gegevens opslaan, ze moeten ook ontsloten kunnen worden naar derden toe: er is ook metadatabeheer nodig: Voor het Vlaamse Ministerie van Onderwijs en Vorming is een metadataroadmap opgesteld om haar gegevens semantisch te ontsluiten en zo te herwaarderen.

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Reconstructing Civil Society with Intermedia Communities

Aldo de Moor (2010)

In AI & Society, 25(3):279-289

A healthy civil society is essential in order to deal with ''wicked'' societal problems. Merely involving institutional actors and mass media is not sufficient. Intermedia can play a crucial complementary role in strengthening civil society. However, the potential of these technologies needs to be carefully tailored to the requirements and constraints of the communities grown around them. The GRASS system for group report authoring is one carefully tailored socio-technical system aimed at unlocking this potential. Such systems may help to develop stakeholder communities that are more productive in societal conflict resolution.

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Collaboration Patterns as Building Blocks for Community Informatics

Aldo de Moor (2009)

In Proc. of the 6th Community Informatics Research Network Conference, Prato, Italy, Nov 4-6, 2009.

Community Informatics is a wide-ranging field of inquiry and practice, with many paradigms, disciplines, and perspectives intersecting. Community informatics research and practice build on several methodological pillars: contexts/values, cases, process/methodology, and systems. Socio-technical patterns and pattern languages are the glue that help connect these pillars. Patterns define relatively stable solutions to recurring problems at the right level of abstraction, which means that they are concrete enough to be useful, while also sufficiently abstract to be reusable. The goal of this paper is to outline a practical approach to improve CI research and practice through collaboration patterns. This approach should help to strengthen the analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of socio-technical community systems. The methodology is illustrated with examples from the ESSENCE (E-Science/Sensemaking/Climate Change) community.

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Argumentation Map Generation with Conceptual Graphs: the Case for ESSENCE

Aldo de Moor, Jack Park, Madalina Croitoru (2009)

In Proc. of the 4th ICCS Conceptual Structures Tool Interoperability Workshop (CS-TIW 2009), Moscow, Russia, July 25, 2009.

Argumentation maps are visual representations of argumentation structures, making it possible to efficiently examine the cumulative results of protracted, distributed, and complex argumentation processes. Such visualizations can be useful to, for example, informally assess the status of public debates. Although the elicitation of argumentation maps is well supported, the support for the (1) analysis, (2) comparison, and (3) generation of maps relevant to particular stakeholders is still an open research problem. To develop such services, conceptual graph theory and tools can prove to be very useful.We analyze the argumentation needs of the ESSENCE (E-Science/Sensemaking/Climate Change) project, which aims to create useful argument maps to assess the current state of the global debate on climate change. We outline a public investigator service, which would allow policy makers, journalists, etc. to quickly zoom in on only those stakeholders, positions, and arguments they are interested in.

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Optimizing Social Software Systems Design

Aldo de Moor (2009)

In P. Hitzler and H. Scharfe (eds.), Conceptual Structures in Practice, Chapman & Hall, London, pp. 279-299. ISBN 978-1-4200-6062-1

In this chapter, we explore how conceptual graphs can be used to: (1) model the core elements of such socio-technical systems and their design processes. (2) specify communication and information requirements and match these with social software functionalities. We illustrate these design processes with examples from a realistic scenario and end the paper with a number of suggestions for student projects to extend the ideas proposed in this chapter.

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Moving Community Informatics Research Forward

Aldo de Moor (2009)

In Journal of Community Informatics, 5(1)

From Oct 27-30, 2008, the 5th Community Informatics & Development Informatics Conference was held in Prato, Italy. At the end of the conference, I was asked to give my impression of the direction the overall field is heading in, based on the presentations and discussions conducted. My aim was to identify some underlying methodological strands that, when woven together, could help to strengthen the fields of community and development informatics in terms of coherence, generalizability and reusability of research ideas and the practical impact of their implementation. This text builds on that presentation.

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Thinking Communities

Aldo de Moor (2008)

In D. Schuler (ed.), Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 467-471. ISBN 978-0-262-19579-9.

In the modern Information and Communication Age, people no longer have time to think. Creative thinking is a human activity essential for self-realization, and for providing sustainable solutions to the myriad problems of our ever more complex global society. Three main factors prevent Thinking Communities from developing: lack of suitable locations for "semi-solitary" deep thought, lack of affordable communications infrastructure for such communities to develop, and too many social, professional and financial constraints preventing people from breaking out regularly for a sufficient period of time.

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Activating Online Collaborative Communities

Aldo de Moor (2008)

In Proc. of the 5th International Conference on Action in Language, Organisations, and Information Systems (ALOIS 2008), Venice, Italy, May 5-6, 2008. University of Trento, pp.97-108.

Collaborative communities often make use of complex tool systems. In these systems, work gets fragmented over many tools, often halting communication. We discuss online community activation in terms of the Language/Action Perspective, and its more recent offshoot, the Pragmatic Web. We propose collaboration patterns for defining high-level socio-technical design solutions for activation problems. We illustrate the approach using examples from a digital tutorial case.

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Ontologising Competencies in an Interorganisational Setting

Stijn Christiaens, Pieter De Leenheer, Aldo de Moor, and Robert Meersman (2007)

In M. Hepp, P. De Leenheer, A. de Moor, and Y. Sure, eds., Ontology Management: Semantic Web, Semantic Web Services, and Business Applications, Springer, Berlin, pp. 265-288. ISBN 978-0-387-69899-1

This chapter summarizes findings from CODRIVE, a large-scale ontology project in the vocational training domain. This competency area is complex, and in order to achieve proper interoperability on the basis of ontologies, all involved stakeholders must participate in interorganisational ontology engineering. In particular, this chapter illustrates the DOGMA-MESS methodology, a community-driven approach to ontology management. It presents practical experiences for the issues addressed in the previous chapters, complementing them with illustrative data and hands-on knowledge.

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Using System Dynamics to Construct Design Theory for Community Information Systems

Aldo de Moor (2007)

In Journal of Community Informatics, 3(1)

Virtual communities are complex and evolving socio-technical systems. The design of community information systems requires much theoretical research to solve design problems. A design theory is a prescriptive theory which helps optimize design methods. Community IS design theory is still very young and fragmented, however. In the design theory development process, a mix of theory components is used to solve novel problems or existing problems more effectively and efficiently. We present a meta-model of IS development which focuses on the role of theory in IS design. We show how simulation via system dynamics could play an important role in a more systematic development of design theory for community information systems.

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Linking Event-Driven and Communication-Oriented Business Modeling

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2007)

In Systems, Signs & Actions, 3(1):77-92

Event-Driven Architectures are a critical instrument for tomorrows fast-acting and agile enterprises. Event process models are essential instruments, but they are hindered by a lack of abstraction. To benefit maximally from the technological innovations in service-oriented computing, businesses need to link an event orientation to an organizational communication perspective. The paper introduces a blended business process analysis method that combines event chain modelling with a communication-oriented approach without blurring important distinctions between the two levels, and that is applicable both in the case of automated processes and in the case of manual or semi-automated processes. The method draws on a novel event ontology in which the signalling function of events is recognized and on previous work in the Language/Action Perspective. The method includes a number of design rules that can be used to evaluate and improve event process models. The use of the design rules is illustrated by a small example of a library information system.

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A Practical Method for Courseware Evaluation

Aldo de Moor (2007)

In Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on the Pragmatic Web (PragWeb 2007), Tilburg, the Netherlands, October 22-23, 2007. ACM International Conference Proceedings Series, Vol. 280, pp.57-63.

As more courseware becomes available, choosing the right functionality for a particular e-learning community is becoming more problematic. Systematic methods for evaluating courseware functionality components in their context of use are required. Of many general methods for ICT evaluation it is unclear how to assess their applicability in the context of courseware. We outline a practical method for courseware evaluation. We experiment with the method by evaluating the courseware functionality used in one core e-learning activity: the making of group assignments. One interesting finding is that the usefulness of an application to a large degree depends on the particular activity being supported, much less on the particular functionality used.

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The Pragmatic Evaluation of Tool System Interoperability

Aldo de Moor (2007)

In Proc. of the 2nd ICCS Conceptual Structures Tool Interoperability Workshop (CS-TIW 2007), Sheffield, UK, July 22, 2007. Research Press International, Bristol, UK, pp.1-19.

Collaborative communities are increasingly supported by systems of information and communication tools. Much current research and development focuses on the technical and semantic aspects of tool system interoperability. However, for developing effective tool systems, their pragmatic evaluation is also essential. This implies that the usage context of tools is taken into account. In this paper, we envision an approach to the pragmatic evaluation of tool system interoperability. Its main elements are a conceptualization of the tool system, its usage context, and an evaluation processs. With these basic elements, pragmatic evaluation can be operationalized in many different ways. We illustrate our approach with several real-world examples.

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A Socio-Technical Approach for Topic Community Member Selection

Aldo de Moor and Anjo Anjewierden (2007)

In Proc. of the Third Communities and Technologies Conference, Michigan State University, USA, June 2007. Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 225-244.

There is a multitude of very complex and interconnected political, socioeconomic and environmental issues facing our globalizing society. To address these, topic communities of experts and stakeholders collaborating closely for a longer period of time are essential. These topic communities often need to be created ad hoc and urgently, however, while demanding a unique mix of experience and expertise of their members. Thus, the formation of such communities is far from trivial. Existing scientific and political structures do not suffice to provide the right experts and stakeholders in time. We present a sociotechnical approach for topic community member selection, analyzing large corpora of blog posts to identify combinations of topics and bloggers relevant to the goals of the topic community. The technical basis for the approach is the tOKo tool for text analysis. The social aspect consists of a sequence of steps of human interpretation of the blog analysis results that tOKo produces. This sociotechnical approach forms a ''pragmatic funnel'', producing a set of candidate topic community members likely to be relevant. We illustrate our approach with a realistic case.

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Formalizing the Evolution of Virtual Communities

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2007)

In Information Systems, 32(2), 223-247

Collaboration increasingly takes place in virtual communities using the Internet. These communities are socio-technical systems that tend to evolve strongly and become more complex over time. To ensure that the changes to these complex socio-technical systems are meaningful and acceptable to the community as a whole, the relevant members of the community need to be involved in their specification. The RENISYS method conceptualizes community specification processes as conversations for specification by relevant members. It supports this process in two steps. First, it uses formal composition norms to select the relevant community members who need to be involved in a particular conversation for specification. It then uses a formal model of conversations for specification to determine the acceptable conversational moves that the selected community members can make, as well as the status of their responsibilities and accomplishments at each point in time. By combining composition norms with conversations for specification, the specification processes can be precisely tailored to the specification support needs of the community.

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Context Dependency Management in Ontology Engineering: A Formal Approach

Pieter De Leenheer, Aldo de Moor, and Robert Meersman (2007)

In Journal on Data Semantics, VIII:26-56, LNCS 4380, Springer.

A viable ontology engineering methodology requires supporting domain experts in gradually building and managing increasingly complex versions of ontological elements and their converging and diverging interrelationships. Contexts are necessary to formalise and reason about such a dynamic wealth of knowledge. However, context dependencies introduce many complexities. In this article, we introduce a formal framework for supporting context dependency management processes, based on the DOGMA framework and methodology for scalable ontology engineering. Key notions are a set of context dependency operators, which can be combined to manage complex context dependencies like articulation, application, specialisation, and revision dependencies. In turn, these dependencies can be used in context-driven ontology engineering processes tailored to the specific requirements of collaborative communities. This is illustrated by a real-world case of interorganisational competency ontology engineering.

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Towards a Theory of Online Social Rights

Brian Whitworth, Aldo de Moor, and Tong Liu (2006)

In Proc. of OTM Workshops 2006, Montpellier, France, October 29 - November 3, LNCS 4277, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 247-256

Legitimacy, defined as fairness plus public good, is a proposed necessary online and physical community requirement,. As Fukuyama notes, legitimate societies tend to prosper, while others ignore legitimacy at their peril. Online communities are social-technical systems (STS), built upon social requirements as well as technical ones like bandwidth. As technical problems are increasingly solved, social problems like spam rise in relevance. If software can do almost anything in cyberspace, there is still the challenge of what should it do? Guidelines are needed. We suggest that online communities could decide information rights as communities decide physical action rights, by a legitimacy analysis. This requires a framework to specify social rights in information terms. To bridge the social-technical gap, between what communities want and technology does, rights must be translated into information terms. Our framework has four elements: information actors (people, groups, agents), information objects (persona, containers, items, comments, mail, votes), information methods (create, delete, edit, view, move, display, transfer and delegate), and the information context. The conclusions apply to any social-technical community, and we apply the framework to the case of Wikipedia.

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From Folksologies to Ontologies: How the Twain Meet

Peter Spyns, Aldo de Moor, Jan Vandenbussche and Robert Meersman (2006)

In  Proc. of the OTM Conference (1) 2006, Montpellier, France, October 29 - November 3, LNCS 4275, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 738-755.

Ontologies are instruments for capturing and using formal semantics, and are often the result of a "central committee controlled" style of working. A new trend on the Web is the increasing popularity of folksologies in the form of social bookmarking sites. Folksologies provide informal semantics and can be created and adopted by anybody anytime anywhere on the Internet. Shared meaning in a folksology emerges through the use of tags that are used to bookmark web pages, their usage frequency being considered a reliable indicator of their usefulness and acceptance. Rather than choosing for either ontologies or folksologies, hybrid emergent semantics systems are needed that combine elements of both perspectives, depending on the particular application. There is a need to analyse the larger picture (including the full range of semantics’ functionalities in their context of use. In this paper, we outline a number of key design characteristics of emergent semantics systems (ESS).We examine the functionalities of two existing examples of well-known ESSs: del.icio.us and Piggy Bank. Using the results of this comparison, we introduce DogmaBank as a proof of concept implementation of a next-generation ESS that introduces a more advanced combination of lexical and conceptual emergent semantics functionalities.

[Paper]


Effective Communication in Virtual Adversarial Collaborative Communities

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2006)

In Journal of Community Informatics, 2(2)

Effective communication helps communities to achieve common goals, but is especially hard to achieve in virtual adversarial collaborative communities. In these communities, the matching of widely differing objectives as well as interests is very complex. We study a case of a virtual adversarial collaborative community in which the common goal was to author reports assessing the amount of true consensus on forestry policies. We use discourse ethics theory to derive communication norms that are a prerequisite for making communication in adversarial collaborative communities more effective. Based on these norms, we make some recommendations on the design of supporting communication systems.

[Paper]


Community Memory Activation with Collaboration Patterns

Aldo de Moor (2006)

In Proc. of the 3rd Prato International Community Informatics Conference (CIRN 2006), Prato, Italy, 9-11 October, 2006

We present a model of collaboration patterns as reusable conceptual structures capturing essential collaboration requirements. These patterns include goal patterns (what is the collaboration about?), communication patterns (how does communication to accomplish goals take place?), information patterns (what content knowledge is essential to satisfy collaborative and communicative goals?), task patterns (what particular information patterns are needed for particular action or interaction goals?), and meta-patterns (what patterns are necessary to interpret, link and assess the quality of the other collaboration patterns?). We show how these patterns can be used to activate communities of practice by improving their collective, distributed memory of communicative interactions and information. We outline an approach that structures how collaboration patterns in communities of practice can be elicited, represented, analyzed, and applied. By presenting a realistic scenario, weillustrate how community memory could be activated in practice.

[Paper]


DOGMA-MESS: A Meaning Evolution Support System for Interorganizational Ontology Engineering

Aldo de Moor, Pieter De Leenheer, and Robert Meersman (2006)

In Proc. of the 14th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2006), Aalborg, Denmark, July 17-21, 2006. LNCS 4068, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp.189-202

In this paper, we explore the process of interorganizational ontology engineering. Scalable ontology engineering is hard to do in interorganizational settings where there are many pre-existing organizational ontologies and rapidly changing collaborative requirements. A complex socio-technical process of ontology alignment and meaning negotiation is therefore required. In particular, we are interested in how to increase the efficiency and relevance of this process using context dependencies between ontological elements. We describe the DOGMA-MESS methodology and system for scalable, community-grounded ontology engineering. We illustrate this methodology with examples taken from a case ofinterorganizational competency ontology evolution in the vocational training domain.

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Tool Interoperability from the Trenches: the Case of DOGMA-MESS

Stijn Christiaens and Aldo de Moor (2006)

In Proc. of the 1st ICCS Conceptual Structures Tool Interoperability Workshop (CS-TIW 2006), Aalborg, Denmark, July 16, 2006. Aalborg University Press

Whereas conceptual structures tools have great potential to facilitate and improve collaboration in knowledge-intensive communities, so far few examples exist of them being successfully used in actual, messy practice. We contend that one major reason is that these tools are often developed and deployed in isolation from other information system components. In this paper, we examine tool interoperability as a gradual process of co-evolution of the requirements and the functionality components that a collaborative community uses. The result is a socio-technical system increasingly tailored to the community’s needs. In these systems, conceptual structures tools are embedded in functionalities closer to the end users’ needs, including functionalities optimized for input, output, data management, and visualization. By presenting the case of the initial stages of the development of the DOGMA-MESS interorganizational ontology engineering system, we examine some of the tool interoperability problems impeding the development of useful socio-technical knowledge systems that can serve complexknowledge requirements of realistic communities of practice.

[Paper]


Software Process Validation: Comparing Process and Practice Models

Aldo de Moor and Harry Delugach (2006)

In Proc. of the 11th International Workshop on Exploring Modeling Methods in Systems Analysis and Design (EMMSAD 2006), Luxembourg, June 5-6, 2006, CaiSE 2006 Workshop Proc., Presses Universitaires de Namur

To assure the quality of software processes, models play an important role. Process models represent the officially sanctioned software development processes in the organization. Although important, they are not sufficient, since the practices of software developers often differ considerably from the official process. Practice models, describing the way software development is really done, are an important source of information for validating the software process. Using conceptual graph theory, we present a formal method for representing and comparing process and practice models in various combinations. The method allows for differences between these models to be easily detected. Software developers, such as managers or engineers, can then interpret these differences to make recommendations for software process improvement.

[Paper]


The Pragmatic Web: A Manifesto

Mareike Schoop, Aldo de Moor and Jan Dietz (2006)

In Communications of the ACM, 49(5):75-76

The vision of the Pragmatic Web is to augment human collaboration effectively by appropriate technologies, such as systems for ontology negotiations, for ontology-based business interactions, and for pragmatic ontology-building efforts in communities of practice. In this view, the Pragmatic Web complements the Semantic Web by improving the quality and legitimacy of collaborative, goal-oriented discourses in communities.

[Paper]


Argumentation Support: From Technologies to Tools

Aldo de Moor and Mark Aakhus (2006)

In Communications of the ACM, 49(3):93-98

A plethora of tools exist that are not necessarily tools. For technologies to become a tool, we contend, argumentation routines and design must coevolve.

[Paper]


Towards Ontology-Guided Design of Learning Information Systems

Aldo de Moor (2005)

In R. Meersman et al., eds., OTM Workshops 2005, Agia Napa, Cyprus, October 31 - November 4, 2005, LNCS 3762, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 1190-1199

Courseware increasingly consists of generic information and communication tools. These offer a plethora of functionalities, but their usefulness to a particular learning community is not easy to assess. The aim should be to develop comprehensive learning information systems tailored to the specific needs of a community. Design patterns are important instruments for capturing best practice design knowledge. Ontologies, in turn, can help to precisely capture and reason about these patterns. In this paper, we make the case for ontology-guided learning IS design, and sketch the ontological core of a potential design method. Such methods should enable communities to specify and access relevant best design practice patterns. Design knowledge can then be reused across communities, improving the quality of communication support provided, while preventing wheels from being reinvented.

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Towards a Design Theory for Community Information Systems

Aldo de Moor (2005)

In Proc. of the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII 2005), July 2005. Lawrence Erlbaum Ass., Mahwah, NY

Virtual communities are complex and evolving socio-technical systems. The design of community information systems requires much theoretical research to solve design problems. A design theory is a prescriptive theory which helps optimize design methods. Community IS design theory is still very young and fragmented, however. In the design theory development process, a mix of theory components is used to solve novel problems or existing problems more effectively and efficiently. We present a meta-model of IS development which focuses on the role of theory in IS design. We show how simulation via system dynamics could play an important role in a more systematic development of design theory for community information systems.

[Paper]


Patterns for the Pragmatic Web

Aldo de Moor (2005)

In Proc. of the 13th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2005), Kassel, Germany, July 2005. LNAI 3596, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 1-18

The Semantic Web is a significant improvement of the original World Wide Web. It models shared meanings with ontologies, and uses these to provide many different kinds of web services. However, shared meaning is not enough. If the Semantic Web is to have an impact in the real world, with its multiple, changing, and imperfect sources of meaning, adequately modeling context is essential. Context of use is the focus of the Pragmatic Web and is all-important to deal with issues like information overload and relevance of information. Still, great confusion remains about how to model context and which role it should play in the Pragmatic Web. We propose an approach to put ontologies in context by using pragmatic patterns in meaning negotiation processes, among other meaning evolution processes. It then becomes possible to better deal with partial, contradicting, and evolving ontologies. Such an approach can help address some of the complexities experienced in many current ontology engineering efforts.

[Paper]


Difference Graphs

Harry Delugach and Aldo de Moor (2005)

In Common Semantics for Sharing Knowledge: Contributions to ICCS 2005. 13th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2005 Kassel, Germany, July 2005. Kassel University Press, pp. 41-53

In the conceptual structures community, much effort and attention has been focused on determining areas of commonality between two or more conceptual graphs. Less attention has been paid to another aspect of comparison, namely, what is different between two or more graphs. This paper explores a technique called difference graphs for determining and representing the differences between two graphs, both visually and formally. Difference graphs can be used in comparative analyses between mental models, process vs. practice models, and any domain in which multiple conceptual graphs can be obtained.

[Paper]


Context-driven Disambiguation in Ontology Elicitation

Pieter De Leenheer and Aldo de Moor (2005)

In Context and Ontologies: Theory, Practice, and Applications, Proc. of the 1st Context and Ontologies Workshop of the 20th American Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Innovative Applications of AI (AAAI/IAAI 2005), Pittsburgh, PA, July 9, 2005. AAAI Press, pp. 17-24

Ontologies represent rich semantics in a lexical way. Lexical labels are used to identify concepts and relationships, though there is no bijective mapping between them. Phenomenons such as synonyms and homonyms exemplify this, and can result in frustrating misunderstanding and ambiguity. In the elicitation and application of ontologies, the meaning of the ontological knowledge is dependent on the context. We consider the role of context in ontology elicitation by introducing context in a concept definition server for ontology representation. We also adopt other features of context found in literature, such as packaging of knowledge, aligning elements of different contexts, and reasoning about contexts. Finally, we illustrate context-driven ontology elicitation with a real world case study.

[Paper]


Linking Event-driven and Communication Oriented Business Modelling

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2005)

In Proc. of the 10th International Working Conference on The Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling, Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden June 19 - 20, 2005, pp.107-118

Event-Driven Architectures are a critical instrument for tomorrow.s fast-acting and agile enterprises. However, to benefit maximally from the technological innovations, businesses need to link an event orientation to an organizational communication perspective. The objective of this paper is to arrive at a blended business modelling analysis method that combines event chain modelling with a communication-oriented approach.

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Communication Pattern Analysis in Communities of Practice

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2005)

In Proc. of the 10th International Working Conference on The Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling, Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden, June 19 - 20, 2005, pp.23-29

Currently, it is very hard for communities of practice to select and configure appropriate communication services, since their communicative requirements are hard to specify using technology-focused web service modelling and specification approaches. We outline the communication analysis-stage of a proposed methodology for communication service specification in such communities. Communication patterns modelled with the Extended Workflow Loop (XWL) formalism can be the basis for such analysis. These patterns define the communicative workflows and norms that describe acceptable and desired communicative interactions within a community. The ideas are illustrated by applying them to ePortfolio communities.

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Ontology-Guided Meaning Negotiation in Communities of Practice

Aldo de Moor (2005)

In P. Mambrey and W. Graether (eds.), Proc. of the Workshop on the Design for Large-Scale Digital Communities at the 2nd International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T 2005), Milano, Italy, June 2005, pp.21-28

Communities of practice require many specialized communication services, including customized workflow management systems, discussion services, and knowledge management systems. Communication ambiguities create a mismatch between these services and community requirements, and are caused by unclear (e.g. incomplete, inconsistent, overlapping) definitions of communication patterns. These are sets of related communicative workflow and norms definitions describing the acceptable and desired communicative interactions within a community. Addressing communication ambiguities requires a process of meaning negotiation, in which community members arrive at the requisite amount of agreement on pattern definitions to continue or improve collaboration. Ontologies are instrumental in facilitating this negotiation process in large-scale online communities. In the DOGMA approach, we are exploring ways to develop ontology-guided meaning negotiation.

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Legitimacy Checking in Communicative Workflow Design

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2005)

In S.O. Kimbrough and D.J. Wu (eds.), Formal Modelling in Electronic Commerce, Springer, London, ISBN 3-540-21431-3, 2005

Communicative workflow modelling is key to describing, analyzing, and designing business processes in virtual collaborative networks, such as present in e-commerce. To make workflow models meaningful and acceptable to all partners, their legitimacy needs to be checked. To this purpose, the underlying norms must be made explicit. A key class of communicative workflow models is captured by our extended workflow loop. Using this loop as the basic unit of analysis, we introduce the concept of workflow loop norms, grounded in, amongst others, internal control theory. Workflow loop schemas are used to represent workflow situations, allowing for actual or proposed situations to be matched with the norms. Using these constructs, we outline our legitimacy checking process for workflow designs, and illustrate it with a case.

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Beyond Personal Webpublishing: An Exploratory Study of Conversational Blogging Practices

Lilia Efimova and Aldo de Moor (2005)

In Proc. of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38), Big Island, Hawaii, 3-6 January, 2005. IEEE Computer Press

Although initially developed as low-threshold tools to publish on-line, weblogs increasingly appear to facilitate conversations. The objective of this study is to identify practices of conversational blogging. This paper presents results of an exploratory qualitative analysis of a weblog-mediated conversation case, focusing on participation rhythm, media choices and specific linking practices. Based on our findings we propose attributes of conversational blogging: linking as conversational glue, tangential conversations and interplays between conversation with self and conversations with others. Finally, future research directions are discussed.

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An Indicator Wizard for the Knowledge Governance Framework: Using System Dyamics to Implement the KGF

Aldo de Moor and Martin Smits (2004)

METIS Project Report TI/RS/2004/116, Telematica Instituut, Enschede, 2004

In 2002, Smits and De Moor presented a model to analyze the effectiveness of knowledge management (KM) in organizations. In 2003, the model was applied in two knowledge-intensive organizations. The cases showed a variety of linkages between long-term KM, operational KM, knowledge resources, and operational objectives. This report describes how these management linkages can be qualified and quantified in a systems dynamics model. System Dynamics modelling is used to simulate the effects of knowledge management in a medium-sized firm in the insurance industry.

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Business Negotiation Support: Theory and Practice

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2004)

International Negotiation, 9(1):31-57

Business negotiation support systems (NSS) are slowly entering the market, although they lack a clear theoretical basis as of yet. Negotiation is a complicated process with many aspects that have only partially been described with the formal rigidity needed to build support systems. Most theories about negotiation are descriptive and not prescriptive, which, among other things, prevents their use as a basis for negotiation support systems. Complicating matters is that a negotiation process consists of several distinct stages, each with its own characteristics. Furthermore, there are many types of negotiations, depending on the domain. This suggests that we should not strive for one general negotiation support system, but for a set of domain-specific tools. To ground the development and application of these tools in different scenarios of use, we propose an integrated theoretical framework. After giving an overview of existing negotiation support approaches, we construct a business negotiation support metamodel for NSS analysis. The metamodel is illustrated through analyzing the case of the MeMo project, which concerns contract negotiations in small and medium enterprises in the European construction industry. The MeMo system is one of the first business NSS with an explicit international orientation.

[Paper]


A Social Context Model for Discussion Process Analysis

Aldo de Moor and Rolf Kleef (2004)

In L. Hilty, E. Seifert, and R. Treibert (eds.), Information Systems for Sustainable Development, Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, PA, ISBN 1-59140-343-X

Computer-mediated discussion processes play an important role in achieving sustainable development. However, when part of authoring complex documents, these discussions have so far not been very effective. One reason is that in the design and application of the information tools supporting discussion, the social context is not sufficiently taken into acccount. We outline a social context model for discussion process analysis. The GRASS tool for group report authoring and the freeText tool for document review are authoring tools in which the social context of discussions is given explicit attention. Analyzing GRASS and freeText, we show how the model could be used to construct information tools that enable more effective discussions.

[Paper]


Conflict Management in an Online Gaming Community

Aldo de Moor and Jaap Wagenvoort (2004)

In Proc. of the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) 2004 Conference, Prato, Italy, September 29 - October 1, 2004

Online gaming communities are an important class of virtual communities. They comprise complex and dynamic socio-technical systems, in which conflict is inevitable. Understanding how these communities manage conflict and how conflict management relates to other governance processes such as activity design and change management is essential to ensure their sustainability. This paper concerns a longitudinal case study of the role of conflict management in a successful virtual Formula 1 gaming community. The results of this study show that a carefully tailored system of conflict management and related community governance processes plays a significant role in fostering community health and growth.

[Paper]


Improving the Testbed Development Process in Collaboratories

Aldo de Moor (2004)

In Proc. of the 12th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, Huntsville, Alabama, July 19-23, 2004, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Springer, Berlin

Collaboratories are increasingly important as instruments for distributed work. They are highly complex socio-technical systems, in which often advanced ICTs need to be carefully tailored to subtle work practices and organizational structures. However, despite their importance and potential impact, not many successful examples of collaboratories exist. One key obstacle is the complexity of the testbed development process in which the collaboratory is to evolve. In this paper, we propose a method for collaboratory improvement. We show how conceptual graph theory can be used to help improve the testbed development process.

[Paper]


Community Dynamics in an Online Law Journal

Aldo de Moor and Sjef van Erp (2004)

In Proc. of the 17th Bled eCommerce Conference, Bled, Slovenia, June 21-23, 2004

Online communities are continuously evolving socio-technical systems. To provide them with better change management support, a systematic analysis of the norms that govern their evolution is required. In this paper, we present an approach that was used to analyze the community dynamics in an online law journal. Electronic journals in the legal domain are essential instruments in the validation and distribution of new legal knowledge. To ensure the high quality of these e-journals, the dynamics of the online communities in which the various journal stakeholders interact need to be well understood. We outline the evolution of one of the first successful legal e-journals: the Electronic Journal of Comparative Law. We describe the change management lessons learnt in practice and use these to illustrate our diagnostic approach for self-governance analysis in virtual communities.

[Paper]


An Argumentation Analysis of Weblog Conversations

Aldo de Moor and Lilia Efimova (2004)

In Proc. of the 9th International Working Conference on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP 2004), Rutgers University, New Jersey, June 2-3, 2004

Weblogs are important new components of the Internet. They provide individual users with an easy way to publish online and others to comment on these views. Furthermore, there is a suite of secondary applications that allow weblogs to be linked, searched, and navigated. Although originally intended for individual use, in practice weblogs increasingly appear to facilitate distributed conversations. This could have important implications for the use of this technology as a medium for collaboration. Given the special characteristics of weblogs and their supporting applications, they may be well suited for a range of conversational purposes that require different forms of argumentation. In this paper, we analyze the argumentation potential of weblog technologies, using a diagnostic framework for argumentation technologies. We pay special attention to the conversation structures and dynamics that weblogs naturally afford. Based on this initial analysis, we make a number of recommendations for research on how to apply these technologies in purposeful conversation processes such as for knowledge management.

[Paper]


Argumentation Semantics of Communicative Action

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2004)

In Proc. of the 9th International Working Conference on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP 2004), Rutgers University, New Jersey, June 2-3, 2004

Communication is a process aimed at agreement on some situation definition. When the agreement is not immediate, a discussion is needed to resolve the points of disagreement using argumentation. Although such a discussion is recognized in the LAP approaches, no formal treatment of it has been given so far. In this paper, we introduce a formal model based on recent results from argumentation theory. It suggests some valuable norms and procedures for rational discussion that could be applied in business process support, IS design as well as in communication diagnosis. The model is further developed in confrontation with the well-known IBIS approach of Conklin. This results in a so-called 3-box model that is proposed as an extension of the Transaction Process Model of Van Reijswoud.

[Paper]


Effective Communication in Virtual Adversarial Collaborative Communities (top paper)

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2004)

Paper presented at the 54th Annual International Communication Association Conference: Communication in the Public Interest, New Orleans, May 27-31, 2004

Virtual communities, of which communication is a defining characteristic, play an increasingly important role in society. Effective communication helps to achieve common goals, but is hard to achieve in virtual communities in general. Those of the adversarial collaborative kind face many additional communication barriers. In these communities, not only the matching of objectives, but also of interests is complex. We study a case of a virtual adversial collaborative community of which the common goal was to author reports to assess the amount of true consensus on forestry policies. We use discourse ethics theory to find a set of communication norms that are prerequisite for making communication in adversarial collaborative communities more effective. We use these norms to make some recommendations on the design of supporting communication systems.

[Paper]


Communication Process Analysis in Virtual Communities on Sustainable Development

Rolf Kleef and Aldo de Moor (2004)

In A. Scharl (ed.), Environmental Online Communication, Springer, London, Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing Series, ISBN 1-85233-783-4, 2004

Collaboration on sustainable development involves stakeholders and experts from multiple organizations, who often work together in temporary or permanent communities of practice. The potential for joint work has greatly increased with the advent of networking technologies like the Internet. However, successful online collaboration requires a systematic analysis of the often very complex, dynamic and interdependent communication processes, while taking into account many organizational constraints. We present our extended Social Context Model that can be used to analyze and improve communication process support. We apply the model to a case: the worldwide Friends of the Earth network of environmental organizations.

[Paper]


Effective Knowledge Management in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations

Martin Smits and Aldo de Moor (2004)

In Proc. of the Fifth European Conference on Organizational Knowledge, Learning and Capabilities, April 2-3, 2004, Innsbruck, Austria

This paper outlines an approach to determine the effectiveness of knowledge management (KM) in knowledge intensive organizations. 'Effectiveness' implies embedding KM processes in an organizational context. We introduce the Knowledge Governance Framework that includes knowledge resources, knowledge development, three types of KM, and organizational objectives. We applied the framework in two case studies to identify the three types of KM (operational KM, maintenance KM, and long-term KM), to determine what knowledge-intensive organizations regard to be effective KM and how they measure the effectiveness. Noth cases indicate relations between use and development of knowledge resources and business objectives, but the relations are managed only on a limited scale and on an ad-hoc basis. We found that KM objectives can be qualitative, implicit, and emergent (case one) as well as explicit (the use of business cases for portal investments; case two). We conclude with the two hypotheses to be tested in further research.

[Paper]


Strengthening Civil Society by Developing Stakeholder Communities Using Intermedia

Aldo de Moor (2004)

In Proc. of the Building & Bridging Community Networks: Knowledge, Innovation & Diversity through Communication Conference, Brighton, March 31-April 2, 2004

A healthy civil society is essential in order to deal with "wicked" societal problems. Merely involving institutional actors and mass media is not sufficient. Intermedia can play a crucial complementary role in strengthening civil society. However, the potential of these technologies needs to be carefully tailored to the requirements and constraints of the communities grown around them. The GRASS system for group report authoring is one carefully tailored socio-technical system aimed at unlocking this potential. Such systems may help to develop stakeholder communities that are more productive in societal conflict resolution.

[Paper]


Computerondersteund Onderwijs voor Grote Groepen

Aldo de Moor (2004)

In A. Vedder (ed.), Aan het Werk met ICT in het Academisch Onderwijs - RechtenOnline, Wolf Legal Publishers, Nijmegen, ISBN 90-5850-065-9, 2004

Er zijn veel onderwijsvormen en veel soorten software om deze vormen te ondersteunen. Dit hoofdstuk richt zich op het gebruik van een specifieke technologie, de Blackboard digitale leeromgeving (DLO), binnen het onderwijs voor grote groepen. In de casus zullen de specifieke problemen die ontstaan bij het geven van digitaal onderwijs voor grote groepen studenten aan de orde worden gesteld. Door onze ervaringen, problemen en aanpak te schetsen, hopen we anderen te inspireren en bij te dragen aan het debat over betere electronische onderwijsvormen.

[Paper]


Measuring Knowledge Management Effectiveness in Communities of Practice (best paper nomination)

Martin Smits and Aldo de Moor (2004)

In Proc. of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'04), Big Island, Hawaii, Jan. 5-8, 2004

This paper outlines an approach to determine key performance indicators and metrics for knowledge management (KM) in communities of practice. The approach is based on analysis of the KM literature on (i) types of knowledge, (ii) processes of knowledge development and social learning, and (iii) metrics for KM, such as from the Intellectual Capital Method. To embed communities of practice and KM processes in an organizational context, we introduce our Knowledge Governance Framework, which combines knowledge resources, KM, and organizational objectives. Our first hypothesis is that successful KM in organizations requires the linking of knowledge resources to organizational objectives. Our second hypothesis is that a precondition for successful KM is that explicit, quantitative indicators are used. We tested the framework in a small organization in the financial industry. According to our first case experience, the model can be applied in a business setting and our first hypothesis is supported: successful KM links knowledge resources to company objectives . Our second hypothesis is not supported: KM in the case is not based on explicit and quantitative indicators.

[Paper]


Web Service Selection in Virtual Communities

Aldo de Moor and Willem-Jan van den Heuvel (2004)

In Proc. of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'04), Big Island, Hawaii, Jan. 5-8, 2004

Virtual communities increasingly make use of standard Internet-enabled web services to support their collaborative activities. Such web services need to offer the right amount of functionality to meet community requirements. However, both requirements and enabling services are continuously in flux. A critical challenge therefore is that the community can efficiently ensure that web service changes are both technically feasible and socially acceptable. In this paper, we outline a selection approach for virtual communities that takes into account both the feasibility and the acceptability of web services. To this purpose, we adopt a semiotic view on the selection process, showing that for the adequate selection of web services three subprocesses are required: (1) syntactic discovery, (2) semantic matching, and (3) pragmatic interpretation. We then present a meta-model of web service selection support that is grounded in this view. This model can be used to detect gaps in web service selection support. This knowledge is essential for the construction of better selection support methodologies. We apply the meta-model to analyze a case on a courseware development community.

[Paper]


Systeemontwikkeling in Virtuele Gemeenschappen: Van Bouw naar Selectie van Software

Aldo de Moor (2003)

In IT-Monitor, 10:4-7

Information systems development in virtual communities is increasingly a matter of tool selection rather than software construction. This process can be seen as a form of socio-technical systems analysis in which community norms act as common information needs. These norms should match the functionalities provided by the tools making up the community information system. Three types of socio-technical gaps can be distinguished. These gaps should be addressed in order to design better systems.

[Paper]


From Habermas's Communicative Theory to Practice on the Internet

Michael Heng and Aldo de Moor (2003)

In Information Systems Journal, 13(4):331-352

Communication plays a crucial role in influencing our social life. However, communication has often been distorted by unequal opportunities to initiate and participate in it. Such conditions have been criticized by Habermas who argues for an ideal speech situation, i.e. a situation of democratic communication with equal opportunities for social actors to communicate in an undistorted manner. This ideal situation is partially being realized by the advent of the internet. The paper describes how an internet-based tool for collaborative authoring was conceptualized, developed and then deployed with Habermas's Critical Social Theory as a guiding principle. The internet-based electronic forum, known by its acronym GRASS (Group Report Authoring Support System), is a web tool supporting the production of concise group reports that give their readers an up-to-date and credible overview of the positions of various stakeholders on a particular issue. Together with people and procedures, it is a comprehensive socio-technical information system that can play a role in resolving societal conflicts. A prototype of GRASS has been used by an environmental group as a new way in which to create a more equal exchange and comparison of ideas among various stakeholders in the debate on genetically modified food. With the widespread use of the internet, such a forum has the potential to become an emergent form of communication for widely dispersed social actors to conduct constructive debate and discussion. The barriers to such a mode of communication still remain - in the form of entrenched power structures, and limitations to human rationality and responsibility. However, we believe that the support provided by the comprehensive system of technological functionality as well as procedural checks and balances provided by GRASS may considerably reduce the impact of these obstacles. In this way, the ideal speech situation may be approximated more closely in reality.

[Paper]


Effective Knowledge Management in Project-Based Organisations

Martin Smits and Aldo de Moor (2003)

In METIS Project Report TI/RS/2003/071, Telematica Instituut, Enschede

In METIS 2002, Smits and De Moor presented a model to analyze the effectiveness of knowledge management (KM) in organizations. In 2003, the model was applied in two knowledge-intensive organizations. This report presents the first findings on how measurements of knowledge resources and knowledge development can increase the effectiveness of KM. The cases showed a variety of linkages between KM (in layers), knowledge resources, portals, and communities. We found that the answer on 'when is KM effective' depends on the level and objectives of KM, as distinguished in the Knowledge Development Framework. Measuring in the sense of 'determining quantitative values over periods of time' was not found for every aspect of knowledge resources, knowledge development and KM.

[Paper]


Workflow Analysis with Communication Norms

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2003)

In Data & Knowledge Engineering, 47(3):349-369

The language/action perspective (LAP) as orginally introduced by Winograd and Flores has inspired several tools and information system design methodologies. The goal of this article is to make the communication norms underlying various LAP workflow loop models (DEMO, ActionWorkflow) explicit and to contrast them with the auditing norms of internal control. It appears that the communicative action paradigm embedded in DEMO and the customer satisfaction orientation of ActionWorkflow lead to norms which resemble the ones required by internal control, but there are some important differences. For that reason, we propose an extended workflow loop model that distinguishes between customer relations and agency relations. Whereas current LAP approaches do not take agency relations explicitly into account, the extended workflow loop model allows us to analyze the effects of delegation on communicative processes. A framework is offered for the normative analysis of workflows based on a number of formalized communication norms.

[Paper]


Argumentation Support: From Technologies to Tools

Aldo de Moor and Mark Aakhus (2003)

In Proc. of the 8th International Working Conference on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP 2003), Tilburg, The Netherlands, July 1-2, pp.135-141

Electronic argumentation support is increasingly important in today's networked society. Virtual research collaboration, e-business, and many other domains of professional life critically depend on adequate support of tools for productive argumentative interactions. However, a plethora of technologies exists that are not necessarily tools. A technology only is a tool if it serves the purposes of the community in which it is used. In this paper, we outline an approach to diagnose to what extent a particular argumentation technology is a tool. We do this by combining a socio-technical view on technologies with a pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation analysis. We argue that for technologies to become a tool, argumentation routines and design need to co-evolve. We illustrate our approach by applying it to a case on group report authoring.

[Paper]


Coordination through Communication

Hans Weigand, Frank van der Poll, and Aldo de Moor (2003)

In Proc. of the 8th International Working Conference on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP 2003), Tilburg, The Netherlands, July 1-2, pp.115-134

Characteristic of the LAP approach is that communication is considered as a way of coordinating behavior. However, little has been said so far about how communication supports coordination, and how it relates to other coordination mechanisms. The objective of this paper is to clarify the relationship between coordination and communication. It contains an overview of the literature of coordination and describes how communication as it is conceived in LAP relates to the "standard" coordination and integration mechanisms. We conclude that this relation is becoming very tight in modern organizations and also indicate what this could mean for LAP.

[Paper]


B2B Negotiation Support: The Need for a Communication Perspective

H. Weigand, M. Schoop, A. de Moor, and F. Dignum (2003)

In Group Decision and Negotiation , 12(1):3-29

Negotiation support is an important challenge for business-to-business e-commerce that is still poorly supported in current information systems. One reason is that negotiation processes are much harder to formalize than the business processes in the fulfilment phase. The goal of this paper is to provide the basis for a formal analysis of different types of electronic negotiations which can help developers of future negotiation support systems. The analysis is performed from a communication perspective, in particular, Habermas' theory of communicative action. Using this perspective, a distinction can be made between norm-oriented, goal-oriented and document-based negotiation. Whereas traditional modeling methods take a data-oriented view, the theory of communicative action supports a communication-oriented view that provides more insight in the logic of negotiation processes. The analysis forms the basis for the negotiation support prototype implemented within the ESPRIT project MeMo (Mediating and Monitoring Electronic Commerce) which was aimed at B2B e-commerce for SMEs in Europe.

[Paper]


Legitimate by Design: Towards Trusted Socio-Technical Systems

Brian Whitworth and Aldo de Moor (2003)

In Behaviour & Information Technology , 22(1):31-51

Legitimacy or 'fairness' seems a key requirement for trust in computer-mediated social environments. Trust in turn seems necessary for productive community interactions like e-commerce. But unless legitimacy is built into social software, achieving trust may not be possible. This means expressing apparently vague social 'rights' as specific information system (IS) requirements, i.e. carrying out a legitimacy analysis. We suggest a framework for the systematic analysis of who 'owns' what in IS design, assuming basic object types and actions. This analysis not only allows social legitimacy concepts to be expressed in IS design terms, but could also reveal socio-technical system design choices for public review. The technique is illustrated by case examples. Legitimacy analysis can apply to wide variety of social software, from chat rooms to virtual realities. It could lead to future global standards for virtual social environment design, perhaps necessary for the emergence of a global online community.

[Paper]


Key Performance Indicators for Knowledge Management in a Community of Practice

Aldo de Moor and Martin Smits (2002)

METIS Project Report TI/RS/2002/142, Telematica Instituut, Enschede, 2002

This report is the deliverable of work package 7 of the METIS project, focusing on how knowledge management processes can be measured and guided in communities of practice, a basic organizational unit in knowledge-intensive organizations. The purpose of this report is to outline an approach to the definition and use of key performance indicators for knowledge management in a community of practice. Our intention was not to produce a comprehensive literature review, but to show how advanced theory and operational practice can be combined in a workable method. Although we outline a theoretical framework in which this approach was embedded, we do not claim that this was necessarily the best approach from a theoretical point of view. Given, however, that the theories are well-known and applied and that this approach was accepted and partially implemented in an actual company, we do make the case that it is at least a plausible approach. The report should be read as a scenario that could be refined and extended in a follow-up case study in, for instance, Basell or Oce communities of practice.

[Paper]


Language/Action Meets Organisational Semiotics: Situating Conversations with Norms

Aldo de Moor (2002)

In Information Systems Frontiers , 4(3):257-272

Virtual professional communities require a strong co-evolution of their social and information systems. To ensure that the evolutionary process of their socio-technical systems is viable, a legitimate user-driven specification process is required. Such a process helps to ensure the meaningfulness and acceptability of specification changes. A specification method supporting this process should be grounded in the neo-humanist paradigm so that subjectivist and conflict aspects receive proper attention. Two related subfields of information science that have roots in this paradigm are the Language/Action Perspective (LAP) and organisational semiotics (OS). The RENISYS method for specification of the socio-technical systems of virtual professional communities is presented. It combines aspects from both LAP and OS, by building on work done in the DEMO (LAP) and MEASUR (OS) methodologies. It thus provides an operationalization of neo-humanist ideals that can help to extend theoretical and empirical research.

[Paper]


Towards a Semiotic Communications Quality Model

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2002)

In Organizational Semiotics: Evolving a Science of Information Systems, pp.275-285. Kluwer, Boston, ISBN 1-4020-7189-2

The quality of communication processes in networked organizations is difficult to evaluate and improve, because of the many parties involved in meaning construction and responsibility assignment. This paper presents an outline of a communications quality model grounded in semiotics that can be used to construct a quality management system. Key elements of any such system are quality perspectives, processes, and attributes. To construct a semiotic communications quality model, we apply the quality elements to a semiotic communication process model. We then use Stamper's norm classification of perceptual, cognitive, evaluative, and behavioral norms to guide the various quality management processes.

[Paper]


Towards a Pragmatic Web

Aldo de Moor, Mary Keeler and Gary Richmond (2002)

In Proc. of the 10th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2002), Borovets, Bulgaria, July 15. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, No. 2393, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp.235-249

The Semantic Web is a promising step toward improving virtual community information systems. It gives information a clearer meaning, better enabling computers and people to cooperate. However, still lacking is the purpose of the information: how is it going to be used and evolve? In a Pragmatic Web, the context of the information would be defined as well, as the community examines goal-based conditional inferences in its work in progress. Scientific collaboratories could benefit substantially from such an approach. The PORT collaboratory was established to provide a model for pragmatic collaboratory evolution. In this paper, we outline a pragmatic community information systems development process by combining PORT with the Conceptual Graphs-based RENISYS method for the legitimate user-driven specification of community information systems. Peircean pragmatism provides a self-critical approach for tool selection in virtual communities.

[Paper]


Making Doug's Dream Come True: Collaboratories in Context

Aldo de Moor (2002)

In Proc. of the PORT's Pragmatic Web Workshop, Borovets, Bulgaria, July 15, 2002

Collaboratories consisting of systems of information tools are increasingly important as mediators of joint work in distributed groups. These systems should be constructed in a testbed development process. Such a process is far from trivial, and must be continuously improved. To aid in this improvement process, a tool context model is presented, in which the information system, work, design, and improvement contexts of the information tools making up a collaboratory can be represented. Using ontological, norm and rule definitions, the links between various context processes can be systematically defined and analyzed, promoting system integration.

[Paper]


Searching for Communication Norms

Hans Weigand, Aldo de Moor (2002)

In Proc. of the Seventh International Workshop on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP-2002), Delft, The Netherlands, June 12-13, 2002, pp.118-134

This article is an invited commentary paper on G. Goldkuhl & Mikael Lind's "Questioning Two-Role Models or Who Bakes the Pizza", Proc. LAP 2002. In that paper, they critize and extend our LAP 2001 paper "A Framework for the Normative Analysis of Workflow Loops

[Paper]


Communication Diagnosis of a Financial Service Process

Frank van der Poll, Hans Weigand, Aldo de Moor (2002)

In Proc. of the Seventh International Workshop on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP-2002), Delft, The Netherlands, June 12-13., pp.118-134

A diagnostic approach aims at discovering problems and breakdowns as well as their underlying causes. Usually, communication diagnosis is performed on the basis of problem lists and not related to process models. In this paper we propose a more systematic approach towards diagnosis that starts with data collection, followed by representation, interpretation, verification and model comparison. The paper presents preliminary results of applying this method on a financial service process.

[Paper]


Evaluating Methods for Community IS Development

Aldo de Moor (2002)

In Proc. of the 7th CAiSE/IFIP WG8.1 International Workshop on Evaluation of Modeling Methods in Systems Analysis and Design (EMMSAD-2002), pp.152-159

The information systems of virtual professional communities are prone to much complex change. Community information systems development (CISD) methods can facilitate their evolution. We present a framework for CISD method evaluation. Starting point is Preece's user-centered approach to CISD that focuses on achieving usability and sociability. To ground CISD in existing user-centered methods, we introduce an analytical framework based on the development criteria of user control and legitimacy. Using this framework, we argue that CISD requires legitimate user-driven methods. We illustrate the framework by positioning some user-centered methods.

[Paper]


Legitimate by Design: Towards Trusted Virtual Community Environments

Brian Whitworth and Aldo de Moor (2002)

In Proc. of the 35th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, January 7-10, 2002. IEEE Computer Society Press

Legitimacy is a key part of the social requirements specification for a trusted virtual community environment (VCE). If an environment is not seen as legitimate, social conflicts may reduce community benefits like trade and e- commerce. Legitimacy must be built into a VCE at design time, or it may not be possible at all. This can be done using a legitimacy requirements framework (LRF) which interprets historical rights in terms of ownership of generic VCE objects. This involves more than merely specifying who has the right to do what to what, because objects may contain other objects, objects may be dependent, rights may interact, groups may have rights, and there may be rights to rights. A LRF could be used by software designers to derive legitimacy requirements for a wide variety of multi-user systems, from chat rooms to virtual realities. It would draw focus to common problems, and aid their common solution. A simple LRF is presented to provide a basis for designers of virtual social environments to copy, discuss or deviate from.

[Paper]


Facilitating the Evolution of Electronic Healthcare Networks: Framing the Changing Socio-Technical System

Aldo de Moor and Ryan Peterson (2001)

In International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 3(5/6):366-385, 2001

Healthcare networks are increasingly supported in their operations by advanced information and communication technologies. However, the adoption and diffusion of enabling technologies in the complex workflows, organisational structures, and professional sub-cultures is not trivial. Electronic healthcare networks are strongly evolving professional communities that involve different stakeholder constituencies in both operational and strategic change processes. The timely involvement of relevant stakeholders and enabling technologies is essential to the successful development of electronic healthcare networks. In this article, the strategic change processes of the socio-technical system of a successful electronic rheumatology network are analysed. Subsequently, an approach to model and facilitate the evolution of electronic healthcare networks is described. The theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

[Paper]


Authoring Tools for Effective Societal Discourse

Aldo de Moor and Rolf Kleef (2001)

In Proc. of the 15th International Informatics for Environmental Protection Symposium: Sustainability in the Information Society, October 10-12 2001, Zurich, pp.751-756

Computer-mediated discussion processes play an important role in achieving sustainable development. However, when used in authoring complex documents, these discussions have so far not been very effective in consistently fostering social change. One reason is that in the design and application of the tools supporting these discussions, the social context is not sufficiently taken into acccount. The GRASS tool for group report authoring and the freeText tool for document review are authoring tools in which the social context is given more attention. A social context model for discussion processes is outlined. We show how the model can be used to construct information tool environments that help foster more effective discussions.

[Paper]


A Framework for the Normative Analysis of Workflow Loops

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2001)

In ACM SIGGROUP Bulletin, 22(2):38-40. (This article is a revised version of the paper published in LAP 2001)

The goal of this paper is to make the communication norms underlying various LAP (Language/Action Perspective) workflow loop models (DEMO, ActionWorkflow) explicit and to contrast them with auditing norms. The transaction paradigm of DEMO and the customer satisfaction orientation of Action Workflow lead to norms which resemble the ones required by internal control, but there are some important differences. We propose a framework for the normative analysis of communication structures in which customer relations and agency relations are distinguished. Whereas most LAP approaches do not take agency relations explicitly into account, the extended workflow loop model allows us to analyze the effects of delegation on communicative structures.

[Paper]


Making Virtual Communities Work: Matching Their Functionalities

Aldo de Moor and Willem-Jan van den Heuvel (2001)

In Proc. of the 9th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2001), July 30-August 3, 2001, Stanford, CA, USA. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, No.2120, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp.260-274

Virtual professional communities increasingly make use of standard information tools, like mailers and groupware applications, to support their collaborative activities. However, the requirements of these communities and the technologies in use change rapidly, so that requirements and available functionalities continuously need to be recalibrated. Changing their mappings is not trivial, because of the many dependencies between the business processes and tool components. To increase the efficiency of the specification process, functionality matching approaches need to be developed that are sensitive to the socio-technical semantics of the community. In this way, the technical feasibility of a proposed change can be more easily determined. In this paper, we propose a concrete matching approach based on the RENISYS method for legitimate user-driven system specification. The approach consists of a series of matching process steps which are based on a functionality matching meta-model. We illustrate how such an approach could be used in practice by applying it to a proposed system change process in the case of an electronic journal.

[Paper]


Towards a Semiotic Communications Quality Model

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (2001)

In IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference on Organizational Semiotics: Evolving a Science of Information Systems, 23-25 July, 2001, Montreal, Canada

The quality of communication processes in networked organizations is difficult to evaluate and improve, because of the many parties involved in meaning construction and responsibility assignment. This paper presents an outline of a communications quality model grounded in semiotics that can be used to construct a quality management system. Key elements of any such system are quality perspectives, processes, and attributes. To construct a semiotic communications quality model, we apply the quality elements to a semiotic communication process model. We then use Stamper's norm classificiation of perceptual, cognitive, evaluative, and behavioral norms to guide the various quality management processes.

[Paper]


A Framework for the Normative Analysis of Workflow Loops

Hans Weigand and Aldo de Moor (2001)

In Proc. of the Sixth International Workshop on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP2001), 21-22 July 2001, Montreal, Canada, pp.31-49

The goal of this paper is to make the communication norms underlying various LAP workflow loop models (DEMO, ActionWorkflow) explicit and to contrast them with auditing norms. We conclude that the OER-paradigm embedded in DEMO and the customer satisfaction orientation of Action Workflow lead to norms which resemble the ones required by internal control, but there are some important differences. We propose a framework for the normative analysis of workflow loops in which customer relations and agency relations are distinguished. Whereas most LAP approaches do not take agency relations explicitly into account, the extended workflow loop model allows us to analyze the effects of delegation on communicative structures.

[Paper]


Making Workflow Change Acceptable

Aldo de Moor and Manfred Jeusfeld (2001)

In Requirements Engineering, 6(2):75-96

Virtual professional communities are supported by network information systems composed from standard Internet tools. To satisfy the interests of all community members, a user-driven approach to requirements engineering is proposed that produces not only meaningful but also acceptable specifications. This approach is especially suited for workflow systems that support partially structured, evolving work processes. To ensure the acceptability, social norms must guide the specification process. The RENISYS specification method is introduced, which facilitates this process using composition norms as formal representations of social norms. Conceptual graph theory is used to represent four categories of knowledge definitions: type definitions, state definitions, action norms and composition norms. It is shown how the composition norms guide the legitimate user-driven specification process by analysing a case on the development of an electronic law journal.

[Paper]


Concept Integration Precedes Enterprise Integration

Manfred Jeusfeld and Aldo de Moor (2001)

In Proc. of the 34th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science, Maui, January 3-6, 2001. IEEE Computer Society Press

The integration of enterprises in a vertical market is not solved but rather facilitated by information technology. One aspect is the coupling of heterogeneous information systems from the participating enterprises. However, before this integration can be tackled, the enterprises have to create a common set of concepts to discuss their cooperation. We call this the inter-organizational concept base and present a proposal on how to structure such a concept base and how to co-develop it by participants from various enterprises. Product ontologies are bundled into reference models for certain industry sectors and serve as a starting point for the discussion about concepts. The second ingredient are explicit representations of norms that describe who is supposed to participate in which part of the discussion process. The result, the inter-organizational concept base, is the input for an inter-organizational workflow modeling to specify precisely the enterprise integration.

[Paper]


Supporting the Evolution of Workflow Patterns for Virtual Communities

Hans Weigand, Aldo de Moor and Willem-Jan van den Heuvel (2000)

In B.F. Schmid, U. Lechner, K. Stanoevska-Slabeva, Y.-H. Tan: EM - Communities & Platforms. Electronic Markets, 10(4):264-271, 2000

Virtual communities that make use of network information systems (NIS) have a need for specification support that agrees with their communal character. System specification changes must be acceptable to all members for a community to thrive. This requirement holds in particular for workflow-enabling communication tools that are part of the NIS. In the first place, it means that workflow processes can be modelled at an abstraction level that makes sense to the community members. To this purpose, a layered architecture of workflow patterns is described that is rooted in Language/Action theory. Patterns for all levels can be stored in a component library and be (re)-used effectively by communities to speed up their NIS development and evolution. To ensure the acceptability of changes in workflow patterns, the evolution process must be supported by a method for legitimate user-driven specification.

[Paper]


The Initialization of Conversations for Specification: A Context of Social Norms

Aldo de Moor (2000)

In Proc. of the Fifth International Workshop on the Language-Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP2000), 14-16 September 2000, Aachen, Germany, pp.1-20

Virtual professional communities require a legitimate user-driven specification approach of their network information systems. The specification changes produced should be legitimate in the sense that they are not only meaningful but also acceptable to all members of the community. We regard specification processes as conversations for specification. A Specification Process Model is presented that is grounded in the theory of communicative action, and builds upon DEMO and the rational discourse represented in the Transaction Process Model. To initialize the conversations for specification, social norms play an important role. The RENISYS method is introduced which supports such contextualized conversations for specification.

[Paper]


Composition Norm Dynamics Calculation with Conceptual Graphs

Aldo de Moor (2000)

In Proc. of the Eighth International Conference on Conceptual Structures - Logical, Linguistic, and Computational Issues (ICCS 2000), Darmstadt, Germany, August 2000. Lecture Notes in AI, No.1867, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp.522-535

Network information system specification in virtual professional communities requires a legitimate user-driven approach. In such an approach, only specification changes are produced that are not only meaningful but also acceptable to all users. To do so, for each requested change, a relevant user group needs to be selected to work out the required knowledge definition changes. This paper describes the mechanism through which such a relevant user group can be calculated. The dynamics of the composition norms that guide the required specification behaviour are explained. The conceptual graph notation for four categories of specification knowledge is given. The Peirce conceptual graph workbench is used to demonstrate the composition norm dynamics calculation.

[Paper]


An Internet-Based Electronic Forum as a Habermasian Form of Societal Discourse

Michael Heng and Aldo de Moor (2000)

Research Memorandum 2000-14, Free University of Amsterdam, June 2000

Communication plays a crucial role in influencing various aspects of our social life. However, communication has more often than not been distorted by unequal opportunities to initiate and sustain it. Such a condition has been criticized by Habermas, who argues for an ideal speech situation. It refers to a situation of democratic communication with equal opportunities for social actors to communicate in an undistorted manner. This ideas situation is partially being realized by the advent of the Internet. The paper provides a case story of how an Internet-based tool can be used, for example by an environmental group, as a new avenue to create a more equal exchange of ideas among social actors. The Internet-based electronic forum, known by its acronym GRASS (Group Report Authoring Support System), is a generic software tool supporting the production of concise group reports that give their readers an up to date and credible overview of the positions of various stakeholders on a particular issue. Together with people and procedures it is a comprehensive social system which can play a role in resolving societal conflicts.
With the widespread use of the Internet, such an Internet-based forum has the potential to become an emergent form of communication for widely dispersed social actors to conduct debate and discussion. The barriers to such mode of communication still remain - in the form of entrenched power structures, and limitations to human rationality and responsibility. However, we believe that the support provided by a comprehensive system of technological functionality, as well as procedural checks and balances, may considerably reduce the impact of these obstacles. In this way, the ideal speech situation may be approximated more closely.

[Paper]


De GIW2000: Van Anonieme Desktop tot Persoonlijke Werkplek

Aldo de Moor (2000)

In Kubit, 7(1)

Het doel van het GIW2000 project is het om een zo optimaal mogelijke mix aan te bieden van krachtige applicaties, afgestemd op de informatiebehoeften van de individuele gebruiker, varierend van basale software als e-mail tot zeer geavanceerde applicaties als streaming video. In dit paper wordt een voorstel gedaan voor een kwaliteitszorgsysteem. Resultaten gebaseerd op een eerste inventarisatie van kwaliteitseisen aan de GIW2000 worden besproken.

[Paper]


Supporting the Evolution of Workflow Patterns for Virtual Communities

Hans Weigand, Aldo de Moor and Willem-Jan van den Heuvel (2000)

In Proc. of the 33rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui, January 4-8, 2000. IEEE Computer Society Press

Virtual communities that make use of network information systems (NIS) have a need for specification support that agrees with their communal character. System specification changes must be acceptable to all members for a community to thrive. We concentrate on the specification of workflow-enabling communication tools rather than information tools that support a single user. In a previous paper, we have de-fined various levels of workflow specification, from speech acts to scenarios. Once patterns for these levels have been identified, they can be stored in a component library and be (re)-used effectively by communities to speed up their NIS development. To ensure the acceptability of changes in workflow patterns, we propose to apply an existing method for legitimate user-driven specification.

[Paper]


Virtuele Professionele Gemeenschappen op het Internet

Aldo de Moor (1999)

In IT-Monitor, 9:10-12 & 10:15

Virtuele professionele gemeenschappen op het Internet worden geintroduceerd. Het belang van legitieme gebruikersgestuurde specificatiemethoden wordt uitgelegd.

[Paper]


Empowering Communities: A Method for the Legitimate User-Driven Specification of Network Information Systems

Aldo de Moor (1999)

Ph.D. thesis, Tilburg University, October 1999, ISBN 90-5668-055-2

Collaborative work is increasingly being mediated by distributed information technologies such as the Internet. However, it is difficult to make the virtual professional communities, in which this collaboration takes place, operate successfully. One of the reasons is that users are not sufficiently in control of the ongoing specification process of their continuously changing network information systems. Furthermore, changes in such an information system need to be legitimate, in the sense that they are both meaningful and acceptable to all members of the community. The focus of this thesis is on developing an approach to assist virtual professional communities in the legitimate user-driven specification of their network information systems. The main results of the research are a theoretical framework that can be used to describe and analyze legitimate user-driven system specification. Furthermore, the RENISYS (REsearch Network Information SYstem Specification) method has been developed in which these theoretical insights are used to support the actual specification process. Two cases have been analyzed using this method: one case concerned the Global Research Network on Sustainable Development, the other was about the development of an electronic law journal. The thesis is concluded with a description of a prototype tool implementing the RENISYS method.

[Paper]


The Context of Conversations - Texts and Communities

Hans Weigand, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers and Aldo de Moor (1999)

In Proc. of the Fourth International Workshop on the Language Action Perspective on Communication Modelling (LAP'99), Copenhagen, September 12-13, 1999, pp.1-14

Communicative action concerns achieving and maintaining mutual understanding among all those who are involved in a coordinated (organizational) situation. Communicative action is embedded in a social context. Current approaches in the Language/Action Perspective have focused mainly on the dynamic aspect of language, that is, on (business) conversation. In this paper, we develop a new model of context in which particular attention is given to the role of explicit context, that is, the role of texts. A text is not a (communicative) action, but it shapes the world in which communicative actions can take place. The model is illustrated by three cases: the design of a communication tool, the management of Organizational Memory, and the support of professional communities. The three cases exemplify three abstraction levels at which texts can be analyzed.

[Paper]


An Ontological Framework for User-Driven System Specification

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (1999)

In Proc. of the 32nd Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science, Maui, January 5-8, 1999. IEEE Computer Society Press

User-driven specification of network information systems is required in many virtual professional communities, such as research networks. This paper introduces a method and an accompanying tool being developed to support the legitimate user-driven specification of network information systems. The need for method ontologies, organized in an ontological framework, is motivated. A key part of this framework, the core process ontology, is described. The application of the framework is illustrated with some case study examples. It is shown how ontological and normative knowledge can be combined to model the user-driven specification process. Its formal semantics are described using dynamic deontic logic.

[Paper]


Information Tools for Sustainable Development: Enabling Distributed Human Intelligence

Aldo de Moor (1998)

In Journal of Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, 2(1):21-31

In the field of sustainable development, numerous information tools, many of them connected through computer networks, support users in their individual activities. However, these tools cannot always be effectively used, as problems occur with the quality and accessibility of the data on which they operate. Another major issue is that these tools are not very well suited to support collaborative problem solving. One solution proposed by some is distributed artificial intelligence. It is argued that in many cases groupware provides a more viable approach as it enables strong collaboration between human stakeholders. To optimally support professional communities, network information systems must be constructed. Such systems consist of suites of information tools supporting both individual and group needs. The users themselves must be actively involved in their incremental design. Specification methods must be available to this purpose.

[Paper]


Handling Specification Knowledge Evolution Using Context Lattices

Aldo de Moor and Guy Mineau (1998)

In Proc. of the Sixth International Conference on Conceptual Structures - Conceptual Structures: Theory, Tools, and Applications (ICCS'98), Montpellier, France, August 1998. Lecture Notes in AI, No.1453, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp.416-430

Internet-based information technologies have considerable potential for improving collaboration in professional communities. In this paper, we explain the concept of user-driven specification of network information systems that these communities require, and we describe some problems related to finding the right focus for adequate user involvement. A methodological approach to the management of specification knowledge definitions, which involves composition norms, is summarized. Subsequently, an existing conceptual graph based definitional framework for contexts is presented. Conceptual graphs are a simple, general, and powerful way of representing and reasoning about complex knowledge structures. This definitional framework organizes such graphs in context lattices, allowing for their efficient handling. We show how context lattices can be used for structuring composition norms. The approach makes use of context lattices in order to automatically verify specification constraints. To enable structured specification discourse, this mechanism is used to automatically select relevant users to be involved, as well as the information appropriate for building their discourse agendas. Consequently, this paper shows how conceptual graphs can play an important role in the development of this key Internet-based activity.

[Paper]


A Workflow Approach to Designing Cooperative Systems

Igor Hawryszkiewycz and Aldo de Moor (1998)

In Proc. of the Third International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems (COOP'98), Cannes, May 26-29, 1998, pp.165-174.

The design of computer networks for group communication includes setting network objectives, designing and specifying new group communication processes, including people's roles and responsibilities, and providing computer services to support these processes. This paper introduces the concept of a workflow communication node for specifying group communication processes in distributed systems. The paper then describes ways of implementing workflow communication node specifications by networking technologies and using the implementation to compose specific group communication processes.

[Paper]


Understanding Internet-Mediated Research Networks. Can We Really Make Them Work?

Heico van der Blonk and Aldo de Moor (1998)

In Proc. of the Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists Conference (IRISS'98), Bristol, UK, March 25-27, 1998

In this paper we focus on how the Internet, or more precisely Internet-based information technologies, may be used by social scientists to support and enhance their work. In particular, we aim to understand why groups working over the Internet often fail to accomplish their goals. Based on this understanding we make some suggestions how collaboration can be improved.

[Paper]


Applying Conceptual Graph Theory to the User-Driven Specification of Network Information Systems

Aldo de Moor (1997)

In Proc. of the Fifth International Conference on Conceptual Structures - Conceptual Structures: Fulfilling Peirce's Dream (ICCS'97), Seattle, USA, August 3-8, 1997, pp.536-550. Lecture Notes in AI, No.1257, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Users need to be strongly involved in the specification process of network information systems. Characteristics of user-driven specification are described, and process composition is proposed as a feasible approach. The knowledge representation framework used in the RENISYS specification method is introduced, using conceptual graph theory as its underlying formalism. The role of ontological and normative knowledge is explained. The presented theory is used to show how legitimate process definitions can be generated by the users. The facilitation of user-driven process composition is discussed.

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Fostering Active User Involvement in the Specification of Network Information Systems

Aldo de Moor and Nardo van der Rijst (1997)

In Proc. of the 1996 Interdisciplinary Information Science Conference, Delft, The Netherlands, December 13, 1996, pp.105-118

In this paper we propose a strict separation between the information system specification and implementation stage. In order to allow for more active user participation in the information system specification process we also advocate a strong connection between the information use and specification stage. Some deficiencies of current approaches are criticized. A specification method aimed at research networks, RENISYS, is introduced that is being constructed on the basis of the proposed ideas. Its application is shown by analyzing a case on an Internet-based research network experimenting with writing group reports.

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The Role of Social Constraints in the Design of Research Network Information Systems

Aldo de Moor and Hans Weigand (1996)

In Proc. of Eco-Informa '96, Global Networks for Environmental Information, Orlando, November 4-7, 1996, pp.672-677

Research networks demand methodological support for the design of adequate network information systems. These systems need to support strong collaboration, that is, the group production of structured artifacts. A typical group artifact for research networks is described: the group report. It is argued that specifying such an artifact in terms of key social constraints is a suitable specification approach for research network information systems. A case related to societal conflict mediation is introduced to exemplify and validate the methodological theory.

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Coordinating the Specification Process of Research Network Information Systems

Aldo de Moor (1996)

In Proc. of the 14th International Association of Management Conference, Toronto, August 3-6, 1996, pp. 95-103

The rationale for a specification method for research network information systems (RENISYS) is discussed. Some methodological foundations are formulated, resulting in a number of design principles. These state that the specification method must be user-driven, context-sensitive, discoursive, formal, and dynamic. The principles are used to analyze several related types of methods: traditional workflow modelling methods, speech-act based workflow modelling methods, norm-oriented methods, and neo-humanist methods. Actor-centered, context-constrained process composition is presented as the core specification approach to be used in RENISYS.

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Toward a More Structured Use of Information Technology in the Research Community

Aldo de Moor (1996)

In The American Sociologist, 27(1):91-101, 1996

Information technology has great potential for supporting the activities of research networks. However, some fundamental problems must first be addressed to determine whether the technological support is necessary at all. Once that need has been determined, merely installing a set of isolated, generic information tools is not sufficient to address the full spectrum of network information needs. Therefore, a comprehensive and customized network information system is required. We argue that a specification method can help to structure the development of such an information system.

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The Development of Reference Models for the RENISYS Specification Method

Nardo van der Rijst and Aldo de Moor (1996)

In Proc. of the 29th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science, Maui, January 3-6, 1996, pp. 455-464. IEEE Computer Society Press

New trends in globalization encourage firms to consider new forms of organizational structures and supporting information system infrastructure. Information systems for these emerging global business networks are hard to specify because of their complexity and changeability. A problem with current specification methods is that they are not sufficiently capable of capturing the context of information systems. To address this problem, we examine the role that reference models can play in increasing the context-sensitivity of such methods. In this paper, we present the reference framework from the RENISYS approach to help in the specification of more adequate information system infrastructure for business networks. Within this framework, we distinguish three modeling levels: the problem domain, human network, and information system level. To further refine the problem domain, we apply the roles-linkage model from the area of network analysis. This model is used to represent the actors and links between those actors as the basis for the exact definition of the communication patterns between the participants of the network. A small case study shows how such a context-sensitive specification method could be implemented.

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The Development of a Research Network Information System Specification Method

Aldo de Moor (1995)

Research Memorandum FEW 707, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Tilburg University, October 1995, 61 pp

Research network information systems are defined and the role that a specification method can play in creating and maintaining them.General criteria are listed that any such method should meet. A preliminary outline of the `Research Network Information System Specification Method (RENISYS)' is given. The paper then presents the results of a literature survey on potentially significant information scientific theories, followed by an overview of relevant concrete information tools, environments, and systems. Some related information system specification methods are discussed. The paper ends with some initial conclusions and ideas about future work.

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Toward a Dynamic, Context-Sensitive Research Network Information System Specification Method

Aldo de Moor and Nardo van der Rijst (1995)

In Proc. of the 13th International Association of Management Conference, Vancouver, August 2-5, 1995, pp.108-117

In this paper, we propose a dynamic and context-sensitive specification approach aimed at the development of research network supporting information systems. We do this by combining the research network reference framework RENISYS with the dynamic information system development method DEMO. By offering research networks more advanced ways of structuring the modeling of their collaboration processes and the resulting information systems, we may expect a significant increase in long-term results.

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Information Services: Evaluatie Projectresultaten

Aldo de Moor and Cas Egelie (1995)

Research Report, SURFnet, April 1995

De afgelopen jaren hebben SURFnet en gerelateerde organisaties in het kader van het Information Services project grote stappen gezet op weg naar de professionalisering van de educatieve en onderzoeks-informatievoorziening. De technische infrastructuur had reeds in grote mate gestalte gekregen. De tijd was gekomen om het accent meer te gaan leggen op het effectiever gebruiken van deze kostbare investeringen. Centraal in het Information Services project staat het electronisch beschikbaar stellen van informatie van SURFnet en participerende organisaties. Nu het project is afgerond is een van de te beantwoorden vragen wat de kwaliteit van het geleverde werk is. Het is deze vraag waarop dit rapport antwoord probeert te geven.

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Last updated: August 23, 2017