2002 - Decision Support in the Internet Age

Cork, Ireland, 4-7 July

Proceedings edited by F. Adam, P. Brézillon, P. Humphreys & J.-Ch. Pomerol.

Title Pages
Zhang, Q., Ma, J., Feng, Z. and Huang, F.
Keywords:Multicriteria Approach Weights Preference Format Multiplicative Preference Relation Geometric Means Aggregation

In multiple criteria decision making (MCDM), decision makers (DMs) always give preference information on alternatives, criteria or decision matrix. In this study, the DMs are considered to express their preference information on criteria. Since the DMs may have different culture and education backgrounds, or different values systems, they may express their preference information in different formats, especially in electronic business environment. To provide more flexibility when DMs express their preference information, following preferences formats are used in this study: preference orderings, utility values and multiplicative preference relation, selected subset, fuzzy selected subset normal preference relation, fuzzy preference relation, linguistic terms and pairwise comparison. The preference formats are uniformed into multiplicative preference relation respectively. Then follows the preference aggregation and exploitation process to determine the weights of criteria.

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Ma, J., Turban, E. and Zhou, D.
Keywords:Group Decision Making Distributed GDSS Decision Support Systems Fuzzy Set Journal Evaluation Subjective Evaluation Objective Evaluation Virtual Teams

One of the most important decisions made in academic institutions, research organizations and government agencies is the grading or ranking of journals as for their academic value. Current methods for evaluating the grades of journals usually use either subjective approach, e.g. experts’ judgment on the journal, objective approach, e.g. impact factor of the journal, or an informal mix of the two. This paper presents a distributed GDSS procedure that integrates objective and subjective judgments to provide a comprehensive method for evaluating the grades of journals. The procedure is based on a fuzzy set approach that deals with the imprecise and missing information inherited in the evaluation process. The system was tested in Hong Kong in an assessment of faculty research productivity. Similar assessments exist in the UK, Singapore and other countries. The proposed model can also be used for similar decisions that involve available objective information.

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Lang, F. and Bodendorf, F.
Keywords:Negotiation Multi-Agent Systems

While many approaches on single-issue negotiations in distributed decision support systems have been quite successful, coping with multiple-issue scenarios is still a challenge. An approach based on “intelligent” agents is presented. Autonomously negotiating software agents pursue their users’ goals by developing individual strategies. The agents apply appropriate behavioral functions that dynamically adapt to changing market conditions. A prototype system is outlined that was implemented in order to prove the feasibility of the approach.

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Voss, A., Roeder, S. and Wacker, U.
Keywords:Multicriteria Approach Mediation Voting Geographical Information Systems Group Decision Making

Is it possible to reach a well informed high-quality consensus for a wicked problem under a hard time limit? This contribution analyzes a role playing experiment where a spatial decision problem was given to 11 participants to be solved within 1,5 days. The face-to-face meeting was facilitated by a mediator and enhanced with web-based tools for collaboration and spatial decision making. The insights gained from the experiment suggest a systematic approach for spatial decision making in groups.

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Krishnan, R. and Padman, R.
Keywords:Internet Decision Support Systems Decision Theory Workflow Management

As the Internet has become ubiquitous it has become widely used to inter-connect system and the Web interface has become the interface of choice to all manner of information systems. However, the impact of the Internet on decision support technology goes beyond this. In this paper, we discuss our work with two Internet-enabled decision support applications – a web-based referral processing system for medical management with a need to manage complex workflow under regulatory compliance constraints, and a smart shopbot that aims to support consumers during online shopping by maximizing their utility and reducing search costs. We argue that despite developments in technology, the important determinants of the decision support solutions that emerge in these examples are task features and problem context.

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Guerrero, L. A. and Pino, J. A.
Keywords:Pre-Meetings Structured Discussions SISCO PRIME

Decision meetings may be considered inserted in a cycle of pre-meetings, meetings and post-meetings. The pre-meeting stage is useful for preparing the meeting and can be computer-supported. Aspects of the design of PRIME, a system intended for this purpose, are presented. The preparation of a meeting mainly consists of discussing the agenda beforehand. The discussion is organized in an IBIS-like manner. Using PRIME, people can prepare meetings in an asynchronous distributed way. The system was tested with actual executives and professionals. Results from their evaluation are discussed. These results are encouraging, since according to participants, the system use lets them improve the outcomes of the succeeding meetings.

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Zaraté, P.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Cooperative Decision Support Systems Distributed Asynchronous Decision Making Group Decision Support Systems Groupware

Faced with rapid changes resulting from Information Technologies (IT), many organisations enlarge the decision processes. Different decision-makers are implied in decisional process. They work together, but are not necessarily at the same time and in the same place. They are supported by communication systems like email or by GroupWare systems. These systems are not designed to support decision. Our purpose is to define a theoretical framework for supporting decision-makers working in the group. We define different situations of Collective Decision Making and then, we try to clarify what kind of support could be provided to each situation. We also give main functionalities of Cooperative Decision Support Systems. In the last section, we assume that Collective Decision Support Systems has to be used with a methodology.

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Smoliar, S. W. and Sprague, R. H.
Keywords:Meaning Authority Trust Communication Decision Making

As the technology for communication changes, the role of communication in the conduct of business changes with it. Communication is no longer just a technical matter of separating signal from noise and managing bandwidth but also a social matter in which negotiating differences in understanding among and between communicators is a primary business priority. Addressing this priority requires an understanding of how individuals interact in the course of their decision making activities. Using the work of Anthony Giddens as a point of departure, this paper views interaction in communication as consisting of three dimensions – meaning, authority, and trust. These three dimensions are used to identify new opportunities for advances in decision making technology which help deal with potential breakdowns in social interaction.

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Andrienko, G., Andrienko, N. and Jankowski, P.
Keywords:Spatial Decision Support Cooperative Decision Support Systems Visualisation

We conducted a series of experiments on collective decision making in a spatial context. The first experiment allowed us to understand the needs of participants of the decision making process and its facilitator (mediator). This gave us a design rationale for developing a set of interactive software tools to support decision making by individuals and groups. The tools were tested and evaluated by the users in the subsequent experiments.

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Chae, B., Courtney, J. F. and Paradice, D.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Problem Formulation Ethics Management

Today, a growing number of researchers view ethical issues as the key source of an organization’s long term success. This paper suggests that nothing is ethically neutral and problem formulation, perhaps the most crucial step in decision support systems design, is no exception. Consideration of these issues is critical and often overlooked in the decision- making process, particularly during problem formulation. We present an issue contingent model for ethical DSS Design that integrates Jones’ (1991) moral intensity paradigm with Mitroff’s (1997) strategies for more holistic decision making. The issues with implementing this kind of new model in practice are discussed from an institutional perspective (e,g, DiMaggio 1988)

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Forgionne, G., Mora, M., Cervantes, F. and Gelman, O.
Keywords:Decision Making Decision Support Systems Economic Technical Benefits Managerial Benefits

Decision Making Support Systems (DMSS) have evolved into a variety of architectures, from DSS to MSS, generating benefits for organizations and decision makers. Despite this technological progress, the lack of a decision-making-based conceptual architecture often means that current DMSS to insufficiently support decision making. A conceptual integrated architecture (I-DMSS), based on two key ideas reported early 90's, is posed to close the support gaps. Analysis of its capabilities and theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Finally it is suggested that the I-DMSS architecture can improve emergent internet-based DMSS support.

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Phillips-Wren, G. E. and Forgionne, G.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Analytic Hierarchy Process Web-Based Real-Time Evaluation

Web-based and real-time decision support systems (DSS) offer unique capabilities due to their ability to deliver timely, current information within new architectural paradigms. Such systems enhance and extend DSSs by providing features such as just-in-time information, real-time processing, on-line transaction processing, connectivity and globally up-to-date information. Not only is the outcome of the decision-making process potentially affected by factors such as timely information or real-time data, but the process of decision making is directly affected as well. This paper proposes that a multiple criteria evaluation model is needed to evaluate web-based and real-time DSSs. As an illustration, a DSS application is evaluated with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to demonstrate that both outcome and process measures are needed to evaluate DSS effectiveness.

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Meredith, R. A.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Rationality Affect Internet Medical Decision Making Patient Treatment Decisions

This paper outlines an approach to decision support that seeks to directly incorporate factors that have generally been ignored by decision support systems developers in the past. These factors include emotions, mood, tacit values, and other ‘soft’ factors. The paper presents an argument for why such factors are important and looks at the design of a decision support system for assisting patients and physicians in selecting different treatment options.

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McCosh, A. M.
Keywords:MBA M&A Internet Teaching Internet Learning

The paper reports on the opportunities and problems of teaching finance, especially mergers and acquisitions, as part of an expensive MBA degree programme, using the internet as the main vehicle for interaction. The maintenance of the group morale turned out to be surprisingly easy. Value-for-money is a subjective assessment, but the participants seemed to have a very realistic view of what was feasible. The internet students claimed to have learned more than students taking an identical course on a live basis. One DSS for M&A work, which deploys web-based data, is briefly discussed. Suggestions are offered about where the MBA industry might go from here.

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Vo, H. V., Paradice, D. and Poole, M. S.
Keywords:Multiple Perspectives Problem Formulation Cognitive Mapping

Researchers (Linstone, 1984; Checkland, 1981; Courtney, 2001) propose that systems-oriented, multiple perspective approaches are better suited to deal with “messy” (Vennix, 1996) or “wicked” problems (Rittel and Webber, 1973). In this paper, we apply a multiple perspective approach based on Mitroff and Linstone’s (1993) UST (Unbounded Systems Thinking) framework to a Vietnamese company case. As learned from the case, each perspective has a limited model of the problem situation that can be supplemented by other models (particularly those with opposed assumptions). We show that a model built on multiple perspectives offers a more complete picture on the problem and therefore help the organization better understand the problem situation creating a ground for better resolutions.

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Gelman, I. A.
Keywords:Model Abstraction Temporal Abstraction Techniques Dynamic Models Mixed Models Nearly Decomposable Systems

A decision support system (DSS) is often shared by multiple decision-makers, which can have different viewpoints and therefore different information needs in the use of the DSS. Decision-makers may, as a result, benefit from a system that, for each, creates a model that suits his/her special requirements. This paper considers the problem of automated model creation under the specific assumption that users have varying requirements on the temporal dimension of the information. The approaches on which I focus relate to a single, structural, dynamic model. The paper develops a theoretical basis for the extension of a set of time scale- based model abstraction techniques that were originally proposed in qualitative reasoning (QR) research in artificial intelligence. Especially, I generalize a model abstraction technique known as equilibration, and suggest a new time scale-based abstraction termed quasi- exogenization.

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Paradice, D. and Boonthanom, R.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Multiple Perspectives Inquiring Systems Problem Formulation

Complex problem situations involve multiple stakeholders, each of whom may have a different perspective of the problem situation. However, decision support systems routinely ignore the existence of multiple perspectives or attempt to synthesize them into a single perspective. Additionally, the most complex types of problems, known as “messy” or “wicked” problems, are never actually “solved”, at best they are only temporarily “resolved”. Such problems must be continually revisited and one’s perspective on the problem may change as one learns more about it. This research investigates ways to model perspectives of complex problem situations. The benefits of recognizing multiple perspectives of problems are reviewed. Philosophical approaches to manipulating multiple perspectives are also considered. A structure for modeling perspectives is described and an approach to determining whether two perspectives are similar is discussed. Future research directions are presented.

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Bichler, M., Kalagnanam, J. R. and Lee, H. S.
Keywords:Configurable Product Decision Analysis Integer Programming XML Electronic Document Interchange

Up until now e-commerce is primarily focused on the trading of simple goods and services, where products can be described either by price alone or as a set of attributes. There is little support for trading complex, configurable products, such as computer systems, automobiles, insurances and services in general. Companies need to communicate offers including complex rules and business policies, and they need decision support to evaluate these offers. This paper describes ECCO, a decision analysis methodology to evaluate configurable offers. Configurable offers allow multiple values for each attribute and they include rules on how to combine the various attribute values. From a configurable offer a user can extract offers for individual configurations. ECCO helps a user in finding the best out of all possible configurations based on her preferences. We draw on mathematical programming and decision analysis.

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Triantafillakis, A., Kanellis, P. and Martakos, D.
Keywords:Data Warehouse Refreshment View Maintenance Electronic Commerce B2B Exchanges

In collaborative e-commerce environments interoperation is a prerequisite for data warehouses that are physically scattered along the supply chain. Adopting system and information quality as success variables we argue that what is required for data warehouse refreshment in this context is inherently more complex than the materialized view maintenance problem and we offer a framework that addresses refreshment in a federation of data warehouses. Defining a special kind of materialized views, we propose an open multi- agent architecture for their incremental maintenance while considering referential integrity constraints on source data.

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Breite, R. and Vanharanta, H.
Keywords:Application Hyperknowledge Hypertext Internet Purchasing Validity

In this paper we examine how hypertext based Internet applications support decision making in different purchasing situations. Our research methods are based on hyperknowledge framework, which is characterized to create an ideal computer based decision support system environment. We have performed three different purchasing case tests. In the two cases test subjects acquired a product or service from Internet without a defined www address or www page. In one case, test subjects used a definite product and www address. The test results of our study are based on comparisons between the above mentioned three cases. The comparisons suggest that if decision-makers use Internet based applications in complex purchasing situations, hypertext based Internet applications seem not sufficiently support purchaser’s decision making.

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Bastien, R. and Miresco, E. T.
Keywords:DSS for Investment Timing Management Knowledge-Based Systems Internet Decision Making for Investment Graphical User Interface

The goal of this paper is to show the application of an Internet-based Decision Support System for investment timing management. We will show how the Internet-age made possible the development of a simple and reliable system for investment timing management, in which real-time index data is feed from publicly and freely available sources and allowing to generate and test a set of successful investment rules. In this paper, we apply these rules to three major indexes in USA. The DSS engine will perform the analysis based on the preprogrammed rules existing in the knowledge base and will generate the necessary signals for investment timing management. Examples of rules determination will be shown. This system is a DSS, because the user is involved at all time in the decision making process. It will be shown that the use of our DSS for investment timing management improves the dependability of the decision-making process in Internet age. The proposed DSS offers increased consistency in the relative importance given to different decision factors. It also presents greater accessibility and better explanatory capabilities of the investment timing.

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Banks, D. A.
Keywords:Knowledge Management Philosophy Interpretation Decision Making

This paper argues that unless both the designers and the final end-user decision makers of Web-based Knowledge Management (KM) systems are helped to develop ways to recognise and deal with the potential ambiguity, falsehood (deliberate or accidental) or material that is only relevant in particular business paradigms then such systems may pose more of a threat that a benefit. Appropriate inquiring mechanisms will need to be developed to enable decision makers to determine the probability that some presented piece of ‘knowledge’ has credibility and value for their particular decision making activities. The paper highlights the dangers of uncritical acceptance of apparently credible data and information and suggests appropriate tests that need to be applied to presented materials before action is taken. The ideas have been tested with Masters students and will next be tested in a business environment.

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Respício, A., Captivo, M. E. and Rodrigues, A. J.
Keywords:Production Planning and Scheduling Hierarchical Planning Forecasting Decision Support Systems

We present a decision support system for paper production planning and scheduling. The global problem is described, and a hierarchical model is proposed that integrates solutions for demand forecasting, order acceptance, capacity planning and scheduling, and the cutting problem. This approach allows for a better coordination between marketing and production decision-making procedures, leading to a reduction of conflicts. We present a general description of the models and the solution procedures developed. These were integrated in an interactive and easy to use environment, allowing for the use of an advanced tool, without the need for a complete understanding of the underlying mathematical concepts. The system is physically installed in different functional areas, and data sharing is accomplished through the company’s central information system.

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Dias, L. C. and Clímaco, J. N.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Group Decisions and Negotiation Multicriteria Approach Imprecise Information

The current version of VIP Analysis is a decision support software which incorporates complementary approaches to deal with the aggregation of multicriteria performances by means of an additive value function under imprecise information. This paper outlines a distributed GDSS suitable to be used over the Internet based on VIP Analysis. This new GDSS intends to support a decision panel forming a democratic decision unit, whose members wish to reach a final decision in a choice problem, based on consensus or on some majority rule. Its purpose is not to impose an aggregated model from the individual ones. Rather, the GDSS is designed to reflect to each member the consequences of his/her inputs, confronting them with analogous reflections of the group members’ inputs. The aggregation procedures will hence be used only to provide a reflection of the group’s inputs to each of its members.

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San Pedro, J. and Burstein, F.
Keywords:Fuzzy Set Multicriteria Approach Case Based Reasoning Tropical Cyclone Prediction Internet

The Internet has created new opportunities but also complexities in the operations and services of meteorological centres. Through exchange of meteorological data the Internet as introduced new methodologies and techniques for processing distributed meteorological data. Forecasters need to embrace massive technological innovations, new operating systems, and new types of information, tight deadlines and high demand for up-to-date and reliable weather prediction. To address these concerns, we propose a framework for case- based decision support to assist a forecaster through utilising various historical meteorological data potentially available through the Internet search. We also develop a multicriteria heuristic method for case-based reasoning and explore its potential use in supporting a forecaster during the forecast process for tropical cyclone prediction.

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Larichev, O. I., Chugunov, N., Sternin, M. Y. and Afanasjev, V.
Keywords:Multicriteria Approach Verbal Decision Analysis CAD/CAM System Choice Decision Support Systems Knowledge Acquisition in a Corporation

Existence of the Internet provides a new opportunity to develop Decision Support Systems (DSS) of a new type: they are to support decisions not only for one Decision Maker but for many people visiting the Web. To be helpful and attractive for people such systems must have specific characteristics. The paper is trying to demonstrate that the approach of Verbal Decision Analysis is a promising way to construct DSS meeting some special requirements needed for effective decision making on the Internet. Two examples of DSS are given: DSS for the choice of the best configuration of CAD/CAM system and DSS for knowledge acquisition in big corporations.

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Gachet, A.
Keywords:Distributed Decision Support Systems Decentralised Network Topologies Distributed Technologies

Many mission-critical, decision-making situations happen in dynamic, rapidly changing, and often unpredictable distributed environments. Military, governmental, and medical contexts are examples of such situations, which can be characterized by highly decentralized, up-to-date data sets coming from various sources. Unlike other decision- making tools, DSSs designed for such situations are challenged by the need to access this decentralized data at any time, from anywhere, under tight time constraints. This paper proposes a new vision for distributed DSSs in such contexts. Its main contribution consists in confronting the existing knowledge in the area of distributed DSSs with new, emerging distributed technologies. It formulates six assumptions leading to a new definition of distributed DSSs. An example scenario illustrates these assumptions.

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Dong, J., Sundaram, D. and Srinivasan, A.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Web-Based Knowledge Management Design Frameworks

We present a framework for the design of decision oriented systems in the current context of ubiquitous web technologies. The complexity of organisational decision making has rapidly escalated due the volume and variety of inputs provided to decision makers. Two parallel streams of thought that have arisen to deal with the associated issues are (a) improving accessibility to organisational information through appropriate technologies and (b) having a strategy to manage knowledge that is distributed throughout an organisation. In our research, we employ these ideas in a component driven implementation of the framework. Our work reflects a merging of ideas from the areas of decision support, web based application design, and knowledge management strategy and is rooted in design artefacts. Central to our framework is the application of scenario based development which leverages the notion of persistent problem instances as an important component of applications. We demonstrate our ideas with a particular application of our implementation. Although our example demonstrates how the framework can be deployed in the case of reasonably well structured data sets and models, our ultimate goal is to provide evidence for its wider applicability.

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Borges, M. R. S., Pino, J. A. and Valle, C.
Keywords:Post-Meeting Decision Followup Workflow Process Patterns

Postmeeting activities have not had enough research within the decision-making cycle. Perhaps they have been considered trivial or not meaningful in the past. However, without an appropriate follow-up, important decisions made in the previous phase may get lost or be implemented wrongly. This paper proposes computer-based support for postmeeting activities. The support includes the corresponding linkage of activities to the meeting decisions that originated them. The proposed system follows a process pattern approach to design the postmeeting activities and uses a workflow management system for process enactment.

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Agahi, F.
Keywords:Policy Making Consultation Agreements Knowledge Representation

This paper deals with consultation network and focuses on the use of information technology in supporting policy making in organizations. In particular, it tries to support those decisions that usually are made by top management-teams in an organization, and thus may affect the whole organization. In emergent organizations that are continuously influenced by dynamic elements such as agents, information, and environment, decision problems and decision making processes are variable and unpredictable. Therefore, in this research we focused on supporting consultation on organizational issues by support growing, visualizing, and distribution of agreements on situations and decisions.

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O'Donnell, P. A., Arnott, D. R. and Gibson, M.
Keywords:Data Warehousing Systems Development Development Methodologies Decision Support

Data warehousing provides the large-scale infrastructure for decision support in modern organizations. Data warehousing development methodologies have been developed by hardware & software vendors and consulting companies. There has been little academic contribution to this work. This paper analyses four influential methodologies using the Avison and Fitzgerald (1995) comparison framework. The analysis highlights a number of issues or areas where conceptual and empirical research may significantly improve development practice.

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Shanks, G. and Tansley, E.
Keywords:Data Quality Decision Support Systems Data Warehousing

Internet access to data warehouses has enabled decision makers to readily access vast amounts of data from organisations. Much of this data is consolidated from multiple sources and decision makers have little understanding of its nuances. It has been suggested that data quality tags can assist decision makers by providing information regarding the quality of data in databases. This paper reports an experiment that examines the impact of information about data accuracy, in the form of data quality tags, on decision outcomes. Two decision-making strategies were explored, additive and elimination by attributes, for both simple and complex decision tasks. The inclusion of data quality tagging information was found to impact decision outcomes for the elimination by attributes strategy while having no impact on group consensus for the simple decision task. Data quality information did not impact decision outcomes for either the additive decision making strategy, or the complex tasks. Thus, data quality tagging can impact decision outcomes in certain circumstances. This knowledge will be valuable for designers of data warehouses and decision support systems, particularly when widely accessible through the internet.

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Havlicek, J., Havlicek, Z., Vanek, J. and Silerova, E.
Keywords:AGRIS Portals Internet Decision Making Decision Support Systems Management Science

Organisation and design of a special virtual Decision Support System included in the "Web Portal AGRIS" is assigned especially to the Czech young countryside population. AGRIS contributes to farmers and entrepreneurs in providing of both short and long-term decision-making.. Portal is developed in the Internet environment and contains tools and services based on principles of DSS: includes own and extra databases, software tools, educational courses, on-line advisory services, tries to be friendly. Databases include three sections and many subsections of data. Complex set of tools offers 10 Web-courses in Management Science and relevant software packages, which contribute to farmers ́ and entrepreneurs ́ decision-making and to improving their entrepreneurship. Dynamic and flexible case studies illustrate the process of decision support and help the users to develop and provide own models and use them for decision-making support.

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Sammon, D. and Adam, F.
Keywords:Non-Decision-Making ERP ERP Communities ERP Implementations

This paper proposes to reframe current research on decision making process in the area of ERP selection and implementation and to study ERP communities, defined here as triadic groups composed of (1) an ERP vendor, (2) an ERP consultant and (3) an implementing organisation. In this novel perspective, the core contribution of this paper is to introduce and apply the concept of Non-Decision Making (NDM) in its two basic forms - explicit and implicit - to the area of IS in general and more specifically to ERP research. As far as the authors are aware, this paper is the first to examine the ERP decision making process under this light. The researchers’ objective is to structure their ideas in the shape of a model of ERP decision making, incorporating both the community dimension of ERP decision making and the ideas borrowed from the NDM literature, that can inform both the practice and investigation of ERP implementation and lead to higher success rates in ERP projects.

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O'Leary, D. E.
Keywords:ERP Artefacts Processes

Implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems has led to the desire for “Common ... and Global” artefacts and processes. In addition, in an attempt to achieve buy-in, developers have solicited inputs from a wide range of participants in an effort to generate “input by many.” Although there are a number of important reasons for adoption of common artefacts and processes in an ERP system, unfortunately, there are differential costs associated with each process and artefact, for each business unit. What is optimal for one business unit or corporate is not optimal for each of the divisions. As a result, business units may try to manipulate the choice of processes or artefacts. This paper presents a set of mathematical arguments designed to analyse these issues.

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Handzic, M. and Cule, M.
Keywords:Creativity Idea Generation Decision Making Decision Support

This paper examines the nature and requirements for creative decision making support through review and analysis of the existing theoretical and empirical research. The paper begins with a presentation of current views on decision making in a new era. Then it attempts to build an adequate understanding of the role of creativity in decision making, creative processes and techniques, as well as various socio-technological factors that influence them. Finally, it provides advice and directions for practice and research in the area of creative decision support.

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Casey, M. J. and Austin, M. A.
Keywords:Semantic Web Spatial Decision Support Geographical Information Systems Ontology

Spatial decision support systems (SDSSs) have emerged from the co-evolution of research in decision support systems (DSSs) and geospatial information systems (GISs). Because of issues of interoperability and scale, these systems face new challenges and opportunities in an Internet-connected world. We present a conventional and semantic agent- assisted view of SDSS capability and discuss current trends in GIS technology relevant to spatial decision support. We introduce and discuss technologies and methodologies being developed for the web-based exchange of data and services using semantic agents. A semantic-web enabled spatial navigation problem is presented and its advantages for decision-time generation of alternatives are discussed. Finally, we discuss extensions and challenges in semantic-web research as they pertain to spatial decision support.

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Tian, Q., Ma, J. and Liu, O.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Organizational Decision Support Systems Model Management Ontology

Model management is considered a critical function of decision support systems. Several frameworks for effective model management have been proposed in literature. However, most of the frameworks are formulated for DSSs at the personal or group levels only. Little has been discussed about model management at the organizational DSSs (ODSSs) level. Based on an ODSS for Research and Development (R&D) project selection, this paper identifies a set of requirements for model management in ODSSs, and proposes an ontology- based model management framework. Key rationales behind the ontology-based approach are as follows: First, as part of the organizational resources, models have to be represented and managed in a unified way as the other resources such as data and knowledge. Second, models have to be interoperable, sharable, and reusable among the users and across the time.

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Tung-Xiung, W.
Keywords:Survey Decision Support Knowledge Management Information Systems CATI

Regarding decisions-making heavily relies on survey while the evaluation on the data quality of survey varies, this research attempts to: (a) Constructing a web-based decision support mechanism: Survey Knowledge Management Systems (SKMS). (b) Initiating a total solution for survey environment through knowledge management (KM) including methodological accuracy, socio-cultural fit, and usability for internet-intranet users. The SKMS consist of 4 systems: Sampling Management System, Measuring/Questionnaires Designing Support System, Group Interviewing Management System, and Data Analysis/Decision Support System. The developing of SKMS and the collecting of parameters of the knowledge were based on a 20-year series of empirical survey researches.

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Damart, S. and Pachulski, A.
Keywords:Information Technologies Knowledge Management Decision Aid

Progresses in information collection, storage and spreading have lead to an increasing efficiency of decision and decision aiding processes in organisations. They have provided both new technological solutions for information treatment and new knowledge management tools. This may have many implications and we may think of a new perception of what knowledge management is. Through a study of the connection between knowledge management and decision aid activity, this paper intends to put forward theoretical foundations of these changes: it puts into light that complexity in a decision stems from the fact that a problem is subjective, since it depends on the knowledge of the person who feels the problem. Therefore, knowledge management for decision aid must deal with this “being” dimension of knowledge, that is to say the knowledge which underlies each individual interpretative framework. It also has to deal with the “doing” dimension of knowledge – that is to say with skills and know-how - in allowing the company’s actors to use the knowledge conveyed within company on the one hand and to create new knowledge on the other hand. Taking these two dimensions of knowledge into account aims at increasing the effectiveness of the different phases of the decision process.

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Han, S., Harkke, V., Landor, P. and Rossi de Mio, R.
Keywords:Mobile Commerce Industry Foresight Scenarios Promising Mobile Products and Services

The emerging markets of mobile commerce are calling for potential successful products and services. This process is challenging all actors of the mobile commerce industry (MCI). Learning from the future and discovering a route to a desired future are keys to successful mobile commerce business. In this paper we argue that it is very important that all actors in the MCI use an industry foresight approach in order to discover a successful route to future markets. We present a framework for creating industry foresights and for understanding the future of mobile commerce. We focus on the mobile commerce industry as a whole and introduce two broad variables; (1) adoption and diffusion of mobile commerce products and services; and (2) the macro economic development trend. Based on these variables we build four foresight scenarios: Rapid-up, Rapid-down, Slow-down and Slow-up. Based on product feature characteristics in each of these four different scenarios we suggest some features of promising mobile commerce products and services. As our research moves further on, we will use information-gathering agents for collecting information for our analysis.

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Liu, S., Carlsson, J. and Nummila, S.
Keywords:Mobile Commerce E-Commerce Value-Adding Services Working Mothers Working Parents Family Daily Living Solutions

Mothers, especially working mothers, take an active role in many activities. They manage the family's daily lives. They take care of children. They work or study. And they also strive to take care of themselves. Working mothers are normally overloaded with all kinds of tasks - almost on a daily basis, year after year. Although there are many many kinds of useful information and services available over the Internet that could be a big help to mothers, working mothers or mothers with children around them at home are often so occupied that they cannot afford the luxury of sitting in front of a computer to access those services. So, what kind of services could help to make their lives a bit easier? Readily accessible mobile services over the wireless network seem to be exactly what they need. But what mobile e- services do working mothers need? What is the specific added value offered by such services? These form the issues that we will address in this paper.

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Sell, A.
Keywords:Time Management Electronic Calendars Mobile Devices Mobile Time Management Tools

New technologies offer possibilities to build improved mobile time management tools, with added support and smarter functions to automate schedule and task planning for the busy, mobile manager. This raises numerous questions, such as what managers really need from a time management tool, and how do they use their existing tools. The study at hand was carried out to find some answers to these questions, through a survey answered by 54 high-ranking managers in Finnish IT- and biotechnology companies. The results indicate that mobile time management, with capabilities for group time management and automated planning functions, will indeed be a powerful tool for the future manager. The current mobile tools suffer, however, from poor or difficult possibilities for synchronisation, and from the fact that they are not sufficiently easy and intuitive to use.

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Burgwinkel, D.
Keywords:Electronic Contracting Contract Management Decision Support Systems XML

With the introduction of digital signatures, the signing of electronic documents provides the same legal evidence as a hand-written signature. This opens up new possibilities for making the trading processes in e-business more efficient. The aim of this paper is to explore new possibilities for contract management with the help of the emerging technology of electronic contracts. We analyse which decisions must be taken during contract negotiation and how decision-making might be facilitated. The adoption of XML as the format for electronic contracts is discussed and opportunities for decision support in the negotiation process are evaluated.

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Hayes, J. and Finnegan, P.
Keywords:Electronic Business Models Decision Support Framework Intelligence Tool Organisational Characteristics Supply-Chain Characteristics

One of the key issues facing decision makers in relation to electronic business is how to choose an appropriate electronic business model for their organisation. This decision is complicated by the abundance of business models proposed by researchers. This paper develops a framework for assessing whether an organisation's characteristics conform to the conditions required for a range of different electronic business models. This framework assesses organisational characteristics in relation to economic control, supply chain integration, functional integration, innovation and input sourcing. Based on these categories the authors develop a series of five point likert scales to help decision makers assess the suitability of various models for their organisations.

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Standing, C. and Stockdale, R.
Keywords:Electronic Commerce Electronic Marketplaces E-Procurement

In the dynamic and evolving environment of electronic trading, there is a reluctance on the part of buyers and suppliers to participate in e-marketplaces, often because of the difficulties of selecting an e-marketplace that meets their business requirements. Several classification models offer assessments of which type of marketplace are most suitable for different procurement purposes, but there remain difficulties for companies in selecting an electronic marketplace in which to participate. This paper examines the literature to evaluate the issues that prospective participants need to address in their selection process. These issues are discussed within the contexts of business drivers, internal company issues and e- marketplace facilitators and used to develop a framework to support the decisions that companies need to make when selecting electronic marketplaces in which to participate.

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Briggs, D. and Arnott, D. R.
Keywords:Evolutive Design Methodologies Decision Support Systems Internet Decision Support Systems

Most studies of DSS failure involve survey research, based on factor models. This paper takes an alternative approach and reports on the intensive investigation of a single DSS project in a manufacturing company. The theoretical model informing the research is Keen’s adaptive design approach that conceptualizes DSS development as a series of adaptive loops between the system, the client, and the analyst. The case study analysis identifies a series of factors or processes that can interfere with Keen’s adaptive loops; we call these factors evolutionary disruptors. Knowledge of these disruptors may alert DSS developers to the likelihood of project failure earlier than would otherwise be the case.

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Larsson, S.-O.
Keywords:Decision Process Decision Support Cost-Benefit Analysis Multicriteria Approach Rationality Road Planning

Decision support is expected to be conducive to rational decisions. The real limits to rationality make it necessary to look into the process preceding the decisions. What constitutes a rational process? There are especially two aspects that should be handled when supporting derision processes: the information and learning process, and the convergence of the interpretation of facts and values among participants in the process. Can Cost Benefit Analysis, MultiCriteria Decision Analysis, and other kinds of decision support contribute to a rational decision process? This paper takes some theoretical aspects of decisions processes and a case of road planning as a foundation for a discussion of the virtues of existing support and the need for further development.

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Arunas, L.
Keywords:Decision Fusion Fuzzy Integral Half & Half Bagging Space Partitioning Neural Networks

In this paper we studied two different classifiers decisions fusion algorithms exploiting the unvaried combination weights expressed over the entire data space and the combination with data dependent weights. A new data space partitioning and weights evaluation strategy for the data dependent combination schemes is proposed. The proposed approach is tested in two aggregation schemes, namely the combination via space partitioning and classifier selection, and aggregation by the Choquet integral with respect to the λ − fuzzy measure. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated on one artificial and two real data sets.

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Kaitovaara, P. and Puhakainen, J.
Keywords:Digitisation Services Service Package

In this research paper we discuss the concept of service packages and the effects of digital content and customization to them. Various authors describe the how digitization changes products, of which some part or all can be digitized. There have been fewer notions on digitization of services. Service encompasses the service package, the service production process, and the service offering. Moreover, the service package can contain tangible or intangible qualities, or even a mix of them. Despite of the tangible/intangible quality classification, the customer buys the whole service package from the service provider organization. It is the core service and its value- adding capability for the customer that affects to the purchase decision. Currently, the service packages often contain digitized elements. However, the digitization possibilities and benefits vary between the components of the service package. There are both economies of scale attainable through digitization of the standard and modular parts of the service package, as well as customization possibilities, which set the service offerings apart.

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Tähkäpää, J.
Keywords:Decision Support Stakeholder Health Care

The development of information systems in health care have been several years behind general development in other industries (Ragupathi 1997). Those electronic systems that have existed are mainly focused on some core areas without connections to administrative and financial decision making or management. The use of them have served only few clinicians without giving any benefits to a wider decision making or integration of systems. The aim of this paper is to discuss electronic patient record system as a central system in supporting decision making in public health care from the viewpoint of different stakeholders. The theoretical framework of this research is found from the stakeholder analysis. The empirical part of this paper will come from an evaluation of a large health care information system implementation project.

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Harkke, V. and Landor, P.
Keywords:Mobile Commerce Mobile E-Health Information Systems Efficiency

The health care sector worldwide has been slow to adopt information technology in order to improve its efficiency, even though Finnish doctor’s already complain that up to 50 percent of their working time is wasted on searching for patient and expert information stored on paper somewhere in the clinic. The emergence of new mobile communications may provide possibilities for vast improvements in the work processes of the health care professionals and the ways in which the patients communicate with their doctors. This paper monitors the state of mobile health services for both producers and consumers, and outlines the major obstacles on the way towards fully integrated mobile health care systems. Although there are some technology and security related issues, the basic reasons for slow adoption of digital services in the health care sector seem to be structural and outdated mental models within the sector itself.

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Carlsson, S. A.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Attention-Based View Decision Support Portals

Organizational decision-making scholars argue that the “decision-making as choice” view has limitations. The field of decision support and Decision Support Systems (DSS) has been heavily influenced by this view. This paper presents an alternative view: the attention-based view of the firm (Ocasio, 1997). The main argument of the attention-based view of the firm is that firm behavior is the result of how firms channel and distribute the attention of their decision-makers. Given this view, the paper presents and discusses implications for the design and management of DSS. Specifically the paper discusses implications for the use of Decision Support Portals (DS-Ps) to channel and distribute the attention of organizational decision-makers.

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Nosek, J. T.
Keywords:Knowledge Decision Making Sense Making Groups Teams

Within many domains, complexity encompasses many nuances of ill-definition, fluidity, organizational variation, uncertainty, conflicting constraints, and multiple solutions. Responses to these areas of complexity necessitate sensemaking, the social construction of knowledge among various multidisciplinary team members. In sensemaking, decision choice is de-emphasized and emerges as a reasonable alternative from group-knowing.

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Iazzolino, G. and Verteramo, S.
Keywords:Interfirm Relationships Logistics Organisational Configuration Organisational Design Supply-Chain Management

This paper concerns the organisational problems relevant to logistics. The paper is centred on organisational problems regarding the organisational structure variables and the coordination techniques involved in the management of typical activities in logistics. This paper, after analysing the literature and scanning the evolution of the principal approaches used to study logistics in organisational configurations, proposes an interpretation based on the suggestion of connecting the organisational configuration of logistics with the interfirm coordination referred to suppliers and customers. The Methodology is introduced as the “Logistic Configurations – Interfirm Coordination” Decision Support Model. This Model is useful for supporting decisions regarding the design of the coordination modalities and the design of the organisational structure for logistics. The proposed Model has been tested and confirmed by the real case-study analysis conducted on some successful business cases in Italy.

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Jones, G. and Lyden-Cowan, C.

Organisations are increasingly setting aside time and space dedicated to collaborative decision making. Engaging large populations within organisations requires an appreciation physical space, language support subsystems, problem processing subsystems and knowledge subsystems. Activating groups to engage beyond the physical interaction, and continue the implementation of ideas using virtual environments requires infrastructure and tools. The tools for include the acknowledgement of physical, emotional and mental states. Relationships with the virtual tools have to be established during the physical interaction to enable transfer to the virtual space. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young has been actively developing and using these approaches with the world’s leading organisations in their Innovate Centres and Accelerated Solutions Environments for the last seven years.

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Lorac, C.

The use of the new media in discussions and debates surrounding information and communication technologies (ICT), access to the Internet and knowledge-based societies often uses the term “media literacy”. The use of this term refers to the specific skills associated with the production and communication of electronic contents in new media environments and importantly an understanding of the types of communication structures operating in these environments. This paper concentrates on two important questions in this regard: First, can the new electronic media be used as a general tool for one-to-one communication in multimedia? The second question relates to electronic publishing, particularly on the Internet. Currently, it is predominantly in written form (with visual, often graphical, annotations) using a restricted, language, which by its nature positions the reader Could a more open, richer language be generally, rather than exceptionally, employed: exploiting the emerging general availability of electronic media tools combining facilities for written and audiovisual composition in multimedia authoring and one-to-one communication. In addressing these questions the paper examines decision-making processes involved in authoring audiovisual communications and explores a model for the audiovisual composing process. It investigates what is involved in acquiring audiovisual composition knowledge and skills and demonstrates that the new media provides a powerful form of communication which has unique capabilities, when employed both collectively and one-to-one by people who have gained such skills. These capabilities can empower local decision makers to discover new resources and pathways through communicating in both rich (audiovisual) language and restricted (text-based) language, supporting distributed decision making processes.

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Humphreys, P. and Brézillon, P.
Keywords:Innovative Decision Making Community of Socially Excluded Young in Peru Multimedia Communication Context

This paper investigates ways in which context can be enriched, permitting identification of new resources and pathways for innovative decision making in situations where the restricted languages of conventional decision analysis offer only social exclusion to the decision makers. It describes how young decision makers in “socially excluded” communities authored and exchanged multimedia communications including audio-visual strata founded in rich language and contexts (which can support innovative conceptualisation and generate new possibilities for exploration) as well as strata employing restricted language and contexts (appropriate in assessment and monitoring these possibilities and in making tradeoffs and deciding between alternatives – a necessary precondition for turning fantasy into real action). It illustrates how the language of each stratum not only provided a different way of generating stories about what is, what could be, and what could be done about it, but also generated a different way of understanding the context in which such observations and potential actions are situated. Communicating in this way empowered the decision makes to discover new resources and implement new pathways through exploring enriched context. Their decision situations were no longer flat but integrated as strata in an arena founded on their own preferences and communications in extended language.

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Osterwalder, A., Ben Lagha, S. and Pigneur, Y.
Keywords:Business Models E-Business Strategic Decision Making Ontology Business Design Knowledge Representation

In this paper we demonstrate why executives and academics should consider thinking about e-business models. We show that the business model concept is an interesting tool for understanding, designing, sharing, measuring, changing and even simulating businesses. Based on an extensive review of e-business and business model literature we develop an e-business model ontology. This ontology defines the concepts in e-business models and the relationships between them and shall be the foundation for a variety of management tools that facilitate business decisions. Our e-business model ontology outlines what value a company offers to which customer segments. It describes the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing and delivering value and relationship capital, in order to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams.

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Eom, S. B.
Keywords:Extended Enterprise Decision Support Systems Web-Based Decision Support Systems Extranet Business-to-Business Network Intranet Supranet

The new wave of this technological evolution, extranets, began in the second half of the 1990s. Many believe that it is the key technology enabler that could trigger a revolution in the structure and operations of many organizations in the new Internet-driven global economy. With a brief introduction to business-to-business networks, this paper proposes and defines a new type of decision support system to support decision making activities of extend enterprises. We further discuss the architecture, components, applications, and the future of extended enterprise decision support systems with special references to the impact of extranets on decision support for extended enterprises in a global environment.

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Ngwenya, J.
Keywords:E-Government Web-Based Government Information Systems

E-government systems are being widely adopted in developed countries. Socio- economic conditions in these countries are conducive for the successful deployment of such systems. The socio-economic conditions in African countries being the diametric opposite to those prevailing in developing countries, it would appear are adverse to the deployment of similar systems. Is Africa ready for e-Government? This paper tries to answer this question in the affirmative by proposing a model for the adoption of e-government systems in Africa.

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Anckar, B.
Keywords:Mobile Commerce Mobile Services Adoption Consumers Survey

Although little is known about consumers’ attitudes towards wireless marketing channels, many organizations are today making considerable investments to take advantage of the new business possibilities offered by wireless technologies - encouraged by optimistic, yet contradictory forecast on the future volume of m-commerce. This paper reports on a national consumer survey conducted to investigate (i) the Finnish consumers’ willingness to use a number of initial mobile services, (ii) if early and intended adoption of m-commerce by consumers can be attributed to certain types of mobile services, and (iii) the common supposition that m-commerce will be able to increase the overall market for e-commerce by penetrating into untapped markets.

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Carlsson, C. and Walden, P.
Keywords:Mobile Commerce Expert Survey Value-Added Products and Services

Mobile commerce is said to mark the start of a new era in business and will for sure alter the basis of commerce as well as competition. The introduction and the development of m-commerce will be a major challenge, as the cost of 3G licenses in several EU countries appears already in the initial stages to be out of proportion. And it seems clear that without real substance in m-commerce products and services the investments in the new mobile technology may still fail. Yet, not much is known about what actually will be the m- commerce products and services. Here we will propose to build them around value-added product and service modules, some of which are going to be completely new as we can take advantage of the new mobile technology. In order to get insights into the state, the potential development and the key issues of mobile commerce in Finland, an expert survey was conducted during June-August 2001. The key findings from the survey are presented.

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Carlsson, C.
Keywords:Mobile Commerce Virtual Organization Intelligent Systems

The first results of the IAMSR Mobile Commerce program have outlined two core areas of research, which need focused research efforts: (i) collaborative, fuzzy software agents as support front-ends for (i.1) PDA & WLAN, (i.2) communicators and (i.3) intra-, extra- and internets, and (ii) generic software designs for mobile commerce products & services, which can be built as basic modules with layers and can be combined to form bundles. The Mobile Process Edge refers to the observation that both (i) and (ii) will contribute to: (a) the reengineering of internal logistics in the b-to-b models of mobile commerce, (b) the usefulness and effectiveness of front-ends in business-to-employee models, and (c) the personalisation, localisation, timeliness, convenience and value-adding of mobile commerce products & services in the b-to-c and the peer-to-peer mobile business.

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Gendron, M. S. and D'Onofrio, M. J.
Keywords:Data Information Quality Decision Making Multi-Attribute Decision Making

Today’s managers are required to make decisions in a techno-complex rapid decision-making environment. This requires that mangers have tools based on data and information quality (DIQ) to supplement their decision-making activities. The researchers propose a decision support model based on Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) that employs a DIQ model to represent data and information quality attributes. Representing attributes by using the MAUT implementation with a DIQ model facilitates the collection of importance weightings and expected utility for DIQ driven decisions.

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De Carolis, M., Iazzolino, G., Migliarese, P. G. and Pietrantonio, R.

This paper concerns the topic of inter-firm organisational models. It proposes a Model for analysis and design of the inter-firm interactions into the technological and productive chain. The elaboration of the Model was based on a theoretical and empirical research: its hypothesis were tested on some success firm cases, very carefully examined, which allowed to refine and to put right the Methodology. The Model is founded on the measuring of the "Coherence degree" between two reference parameters: 1. "Interdependence-between- Activities"; 2. "Co-ordination modalities". The research applied the Model on a set of agro- food firms in Calabria (South of Italy) and this paper shows the synthetic results. The authors retain that the Model is a still efficacious instrument for analysis and design of the inter-firm interactions in the technological and productive chain.

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