2012 - Fusing Decision Support Systems into the Fabric of the Context

Anavissos, Greece, 28-30 June

Proceedings edited by A. Respício & F. Burstein.


Title Pages
Vokurka, E., Richards, R. and Humphreys, P.
Keywords:Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Cluster Building Bottom-Up Approach Intellectual Capital Management Group Decision and Communication Support Infusing DSS

This paper introduces a flexible methodology and toolset for efficient online management of intellectual capital (IC) in groups or clusters of SMEs called CROFT: CADIC Relational Online Framework and Toolset. Driven from the ‘bottom up’ by the requirements of the cluster participants themselves, CROFT provides a flexible framework to assist in managing the flow or transfer of IC. Based on observations of real world SME clustering activities, CROFT has been developed to provide Group Decision and Communication Support (GDACS) to assist clusters in collective management of the group’s intellectual capital through hierarchical gated access of online resources and networking coupled with a cluster relevant IC management toolset. The pilot implementation of the system is ongoing, and while there remain issues around technical platform integration and early adoption, CROFT is designed to be flexible enough to benefit a broad spectrum of SME clusters with a wide variety of needs.

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3-14
Eom, S. B.
Keywords:Delone and McLean Model Information Systems Success DSS Evaluation Structural Equation Model

Evaluating DSS involves examining multi dimensional attributes associated with the value of DSS though the analysis of costs and benefits, changes in the decision process, and the quality of decision support systems. In the early 1990s, DeLone and McLean presented the IS success model as a framework and model for conceptualizing and operationalizing IS (including DSS) success. The DM model is one of the widely recognized IS models based on a systematic review of 180 studies which investigated over 100 success measures. An important assumption of the DM model is that it is the model to explain IS success in a voluntary IS use context. Due to the voluntariness of IS use, the ”use” of the system is in the center of the model. This paper empirically tests the validity of the DM model in an e learning environment and found out that the DM model failed to support the positive relationships between system use and system outcome. Can the DM model of IS success be applied to evaluate the DSS success? The answer may be probably no. The future research is needed to construct a comprehensive model for evaluating DSS success. The ”use” may no longer be a critical construct in evaluating DSS success in that a substantial portion of DSS published seem to be mandatory or semi mandatory.

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15-26
Phillips-Wren, G. and McKniff, S.
Keywords:Fusion View Decision Support Medication Error Task Technology Fit Model

Medication errors are causing harm, and even death, to hospital in patients. These preventable errors occur at the hands of the same individuals who are charged to protect and provide care to patients healthcare professionals. While decision support technologies are available to assist healthcare providers, patients continue to experience incorrect medications, inaccurate doses/rates of medication, duplicate doses, medication interactions, and other medication errors. This paper proposes that a fusion view can provide guidance to increase the use of decision support technologies by healthcare professionals within the hospital environment to reduce medication errors and improve patient care. A case study of a hospital in the United States is used to illustrate reasons for the lack of use of existing systems and the potential of fused decision support technologies.

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27-36
Csáki, C., Prier, E. and Adam, F.
Keywords:Decision Making Decision Process Decision Support Systems Public Policy Regulation

Organizations in various business areas operate in an increasingly regulated environment. Policy makers and regulators rely on certain assumptions rooted in various theoretical models when designing schemes to influence the decision making of economic actors. Using examples from different regulated domains this paper argues that various dimensions of a decision making situation such as the definition of the problem, the role of participants, the strategy of the decision maker, the management of information, or the process may be utilized by regulations or agencies as mechanisms to manipulate organizational decision making. Beyond policy design, it is contended that these dimensions can be used (1) to understand the role decision support systems play in regulated environments and (2) to make recommendations pertaining to the design and implementation of DSS dedicated to supporting managers in heavily regulated environments.

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39-50
Brézillon, P.
Keywords:Decision Making Scientific Workflows Context Modeling Contextual Graphs Contextualisation Task Realisation Process Activity Management

Context modeling and management are intrinsic parts of the decision making process, especially in domains dealing with knowledge and reasoning. Actors make a decision jointly with the modeling of the context at hand. However, such a co building of the decision making and of the specific model of context is generally left implicit, and one generally retains {decision making, solution} instead of {decision making, context, solution}. Then, any reuse of a successful decision making requires a complex phase of contextualization, decontextualization and recontextualization. This problem is well known in the scientific workflow community a scientific workflow being a kind of decisionmaking implementation for which we propose a solution. In this paper, we present a solution for decision making, pointing out similarities of the approach with scientific workflows, their consideration related to task realization, and their integration in the notion of activity management. The key point is to consider decision making through its entire processing and not its solution only. This shift of paradigm is possible, thanks to the Contextual Graphs formalism and its uniform representation of knowledge, reasoning and context. A running example illustrates the contribution of this context oriented approach for representing the contextualization process of decision making.

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51-62
Tahir, H. and Brézillon, P.
Keywords:Contextual Graphs Data Migration DBA Decision Support Systems ETL Process Experience Base Shared Context

The performance of data migration processes is an important issue when transferring data from existing source information systems to new target systems. Such a process is called ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading). Addressing this issue is one of the main tasks and challenges of database administrator (DBA). This activity is important because it must be accomplished as rapidly as possible to make the target system available to other systems on time. Under such a pressure, a DBA has to collaborate with several experts working on the different parts in the migration environment to solve the problem at hand. Exchange of information and knowledge between the DBA and project members becomes effective if there is a common interpretative focus and a shared context where all actors can understand each other and exchange their experiences. In this paper, we present how context sharing can help in individual decision making when dealing with ETL processes failures, thanks to a platform called Contextual Graphs (CxGs Platform) that allows a uniform representation of knowledge, reasoning and contexts. Our work provides a basis for the development of an experience base that will be used by a decision support system for DBA experts.

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63-74
Žnidaršič, M., Bohanec, M. and Trdin, N.
Keywords:Data Mining Workflows Qualitative Assessment Multicriteria Modeling Understandability Robustness

Data-mining is aimed at discovering knowledge from data. Advanced data-mining software, such as Weka, Orange and Rapid Miner, provide hundreds of data-mining methods. In order to perform a given data-mining task, these meth- ods have to be selected and combined into a data-mining workflow. Traditionally, workflows are designed by data-mining experts, but this is difficult and there is a strong need to automate workflow design. In doing so, it is essential to be able to assess the quality of workflows. So far, this was usually assessed only through performance indicators, such as classification accuracy. In this paper, we present a workflow assessment model that uses an extended set of user-oriented indicators, which include understandability for the user, generality of used components, and robustness of the workflow. The model, which was developed using software DEXi, is qualitative, multi-attribute, hierarchical, and rule-based. We describe its compo- nents, current implementation of the model, and illustrate its performance on the case of two workflows.

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75-86
Meredith, R. A., Remington, S., O'Donnell, P. and Sharma, N.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Transformation Vendors Absorptive Capacity Dynamic Capabilities

Business Intelligence (BI) vendors have often asserted that the use of their tools can lead to organizational transformation. This paper compares the vendor literature on the topic with two management theories. The results of a content analysis of the vendor literature are presented, followed by an overview of dynamic capability theory and absorptive capacity. This comparison shows that the BI vendor literature treats transformation in a simplistic and narrow way. The paper argues for greater engagement between academia, BI vendors and BI customers.

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89-100
O'Donnell, P., Sipsma, S. and Watt, C.
Keywords:Business Intelligence SAP Business Objects Practitioner Opinion

This paper presents the top 20 challenges currently faced by Business Intelligence practitioners in Australia. The results were obtained from a series of nominal group technique based meetings with BI practitioners designed to elicit the most important of the challenges that they face. The most important issue that practitioners believe they face at the current time is widely seen to be developing BI systems for mobile devices.

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101-112
Shanks, G., Bekmamedova, N., Adam, F. and Daly, M.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Embeddedness Problem Types

Embedding business intelligence systems within organisations requires a seamless integration of technology, business processes and routines into the fabric of the organisation. In this paper, we propose a set of five dimensions for embeddedness of business intelligence systems within organisations. We argue that these dimensions can be related to different types of problem. We then present four case studies and a number of key insights emerge from a cross case analysis.

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113-124
Carlsson, S. A. and Tona, O.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Emergence Connection View Immersion View Fusion View

In the debate on the core of Information System (IS), El Sawy identified three faces of IS views: connection, immersion, and fusion. However, no research has further elaborated these concepts. For this task, we adopted the characteristics of the old concept of “emergence” to better describe and explain the shifts in IS from connection to immersion and finally towards fusion. A police organization is examined as a case study, and its Business Intelligence (BI) system and users and their interaction in solving daily tasks are observed. The study took place during two different time periods in 2009 and 2011. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used, including a survey and interviews. Two main user groups were identified in the police organization: viewers and analysts. The results of this study showed that in the context of viewers BI is in connection view and is slowly emerging into immersion. On the other hand, in the context of analysts BI is positioned in immersion view and, based on emergent properties, we concluded that there is potential for a slow emergence towards fusion once more capabilities are integrated in the BI system used by the analysts.

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125-136
Gomes, L. and Respício, A.
Keywords:Strategic Management Strategic Decision Support Systems Balanced Scorecard

This paper focuses on the adoption of the Balanced Scorecard model [1] for strategic management by a Portuguese insurance company and presents the Decision Support System (DSS) that has been conceived and developed to embody this adoption. A special emphasis is given to the definition of a strategy, the selection of the strategic measures to analyse and monitor and to the selection of initiatives taken to operationalize the identified strategy. The DSS was designed in close interaction with senior executives and was conceived aiming at enabling the company to more effectively analyse and control indicators relevant for its strategic decisions. The achievements resulting from the implementation of the system are presented and reveal that the BSC integrated with a DSS can be an effective strategic management tool for an SME.

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137-148
Bergamaschi, S., Olaru, M.-O., Sorrentino, S. and Vincini, M.
Keywords:Data Warehouse Dimension Integration Schema Matching Word Sense Disambiguation

During the last decades, the Data Warehouse has been one of the main components of a Decision Support System (DSS) inside a company. Given the great diffusion of Data Warehouses nowadays, managers have realized that there is a great potential in combining information coming from multiple information sources, like heterogeneous Data Warehouses from companies operating in the same sector. Existing solutions rely mostly on the Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) approach, a costly and complex process. The process of Data Warehous integration can be greatly simplified by developing a method that is able to semi-automatically discover semantic relationships among attributes of two or more different, heterogeneous Data Warehouse schemas. In this paper, we propose a method for the semi-automatic discovery of mappings between dimension hierarchies of heterogeneous Data Warehouses. Our approach exploits techniques from the Data Integration re- search area by combining topological properties of dimensions and semantic techniques.

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149-160
Shanks, G. and Bekmamedova, N.
Keywords:Business Analytics Dynamic Capabilities Resource-Based View Evolutionary Development Integration

Business analytics systems create value and provide competitive advantage for organisations. We argue that operational and dynamic business analytics capabilities can explain how value is created, sustained and renewed. We develop an evolutionary, process oriented theoretical framework that describes how dynamic and operational business analytics capabilities interact over time to create value. We use the framework to explain how business analytics systems were integrated with the enterprise environment in a longitudinal case study of a large financial institution. A number of key factors for success with business analytics systems are identified.

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161-172
Mileva Boshkoska, B., Bohanec, M. and Žnidaršič, M.
Keywords:Option Ranking Copulas Qualitative Multi-Attribute Decision Models

In this paper, we address the problem of full option ranking in hierarchical qualitative evaluation models. Qualitative evaluation models perform partial ranking of options. The main challenge for full ranking of options with hierarchical models is finding a suitable aggregation function. A common way to define an aggregation is to use some kind of regression. Current approaches that use linear regression often fail to provide a full ranking of options in non-linear cases. Therefore we propose different methods for linear and copula-based regression functions. We evaluate two real data-mining workflows and two of its modifications, and show that full ranking of options is achieved when employing copula-based regression using Frank copula.

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175-184
Rokou, E., Kirytopoulos, K. and Voulgaridou, D.
Keywords:Analytic Network Process Decision Support Systems Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis ANP Algorithm

The Analytical Network Process (ANP) is a multicriteria decision analysis method that has been widely used the last few years to support decision making. Primary aim of this paper is to expose in detail the mathematics of the method in order to explain the mechanics of its steps and provide an exact algorithm that will give the opportunity to easily understand and implement either the method itself or modified versions of it. The paper holds an holistic approach to the method, covering not only simple ANP models but also Hierarchies and BOCR models. The practical implication of this paper is that the algorithm provided may be used as a basis for the development of custom software programs and tools that will foster the further expanding of the method.

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185-196
Fernandes, S., Captivo, M. E. and ClÍmaco, J.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Multi-Attribute Analysis Bicriteria Location Models Geographical Information Systems

In this paper, we present the new developments of the interactive Decision Support System (DSS) named SABILOC ([8], [1]). SABILOC is aimed at supporting decision making concerning bicriteria location models in which the facilities to be located could have environmental impacts. The decision support is provided through two interactive phases. First, a combinatorial optimization procedure to obtain non dominated solutions for bicriteria location problems is used. A Geographic Information System was embedded into the DSS ([7]) in order to obtain relevant data for the models concerned, especially those considering environmental issues. In the second phase, a set of compromise alternatives can be analyzed in detail using a multi attribute a posteriori analysis tool. This one stands for a simple interactive implementation of the conjunctive method making use of a radar chart as basis for the procedure.

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197-208
Ngan, C.-K., Brodsky, A. and Lin, J.
Keywords:Statistical Learning Prediction Multivariate Time Series Decision Support Heuristic Algorithm

We propose a Relaxed Checkpoint algorithm (R-Checkpoint) to solve Multi-Event Expert Query Parametric Estimation (ME-EQPE) problems over multivariate time series. Our proposed algorithm combines the strengths of both domain-knowledge-based and formal-learning-based approaches to learn decision parameters for yielding a reasonable time utility over multivariate time series. More specifically, our approach solves the decision optimization problems to yield the time utility from multiple decision time points, as well as learns the multiple sets of decision parameters in their respective events during the computations at a lower cost. We show that our approach produces a reasonable forecasting result by using the learned multiple sets of decision parameters.

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209-220
Karacapilidis, N. and Tzagarakis, M.
Keywords:Collaborative Decision Making Data Intensiveness Data Mining

This paper presents an innovative approach to collaborative decision making that takes into account requirements imposed by the “data deluge” era. The proposed approach builds on the synergy of human and machine intelligence. It integrates a set of interoperable services that reduce the data intensiveness and complexity overload at critical decision points to a manageable level. Its applicability in three real world use cases is sketched.

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223-228
Grace, A., Finnegan, P. and Butler, T.
Keywords:Collaborative Decision Making Decision Support Decision Support Systems Information Systems Service Co-Production Complex Services

Service co production of a complex service is a type of collaborative decision making between a service professional and an individual client that necessitates high levels of interaction and information sharing between these two parties. This process culminates in a collaborative decision on an appropriate service to suit the individual needs and preferences of the client. These types of collaborative decisions are under researched and this poses a significant constraint on organizations who are encountering a growing demand from clients to be involved in decisions about how services should be customized for them. In particular, there is a paucity of research on how information systems support these types of collaborative decisions. Our study involves an exploratory case study of collaborative decision making on complex financial services between service professionals and high net worth clients. The paper illustrates how such collaborative decisions are reached primarily through the service professional and the client learning from each other, building a trusting relationship and adjusting to each other in a series of highly participative face to face service interactions. Our analysis exposes some limitations of information systems in supporting the type of learning, relationship building and adjustment that is required. We conclude by outlining the implications for IS research and practice.

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229-240
Spyridakos, A.
Keywords:Multicriteria Decision Aid Collaborative Decision Making Disaggregation - Aggregation Multicriteria Approach Decision Support Systems

The synergistic operation of the RACES and MINORA systems is oriented to exploit disaggregation-aggregation approaches for collaborative decision making. The process is progressed through two paths. The first one concerns the a priori estimation of a total ranking by the utilization of collective voting functions (Borda, De Condorcet, Eigenvector, etc.). This ranking is further used by the UTA* method. This methodological approach provides a flexible framework to investigate and discover the structures of Decision Makers' (DMs) preferences in collaborative decision making for small groups. This work presents the functions of the RACES and MINORA systems and examines the way with which individual preference models can be conformed to a composite one and how the collaborative decision making process can be supported through interactive feedbacks, so as to lead to a common accepted preference model, satisfying the individuality.

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241-252
Adla, A., Nachet, B. and Ould-Mahraz, A.
Keywords:Collaborative Decision Making Distributed Decision Support Systems Multi-Agent Systems Facilitation

In this paper, we propose a Multi agent view of distributed collaborative decision support systems in which a facilitator and group decision makers are supported by intelligent agents. It considers group participants as multiple agents concerned with the quality of the collective decision. We define a facilitator agent as that agent responsible for the overall decision making process. This includes managing the complex negotiation processes that are required among those participants collaborating on decision making. The agents in the system autonomously plan and pursue their actions and sub goals to cooperate, coordinate and negotiate with others, and to respond flexibly and intelligently to dynamic and unpredictable situations. Specifically, agents were used to collect information and generate alternatives that would allow the user to focus on solutions that were found to be significant. The decision making process, applied to the fault diagnosis in an oil plant, relies on a cycle that includes recognition of the causes of a defect (diagnosis), plan actions to solve the incidences and, execution of the selected actions.

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253-263
Hamra, J., Hossain, L. and Owen, C.
Keywords:Social Network Analysis Network Structure Learning Adaptive Behaviour Emergency Management

Understanding factors that enhance or diminish learning and adaptability levels of individuals is instrumental in achieving individual and organizational performance goals. In this study, the effect of social network structure on learning attitudes of emergency personnel during an emergency event is investigated. Based on social network theories, and the social influence model of learning, a theoretical framework is proposed to investigate the effects of network structure on learning outcome of bushfire coordinating teams. To test our framework, we investigate social network data which has been extracted from the transcripts of the 2009 Victorian BushfiresRoyal Commission report. Empirical results suggest that network structure of emergency personnel play a crucial role in the ability of those actors to engage in learning related work activity. We infer that this will mean that these actors are better able to adapt and improvise in complex emergency events. We suggest that social network analysis may have a valuable part to play in the study of emergency events. By presenting a model of learning related work activity, based on network structure, personnel within emergency services organizations can strengthen their capacity to be flexible and adaptable.

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267-278
Stanek, S. and Drosio, S.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Hybrid Crisis Disaster Emergency Management Public Administration

Computer support for crisis management is currently mostly focused on immediate emergency and rescue operations, while there are few all in one systems capable of deploying support to decision making processes in state administration and at international level. The paper presents the concept of a Hybrid Decision Support System for Crisis Management (HSWDK). The idea has been developed with a view to, firstly, demonstrating the potential inherent in systems that would be able to address a wide range of emergency response operations, and secondly, outlining a system architecture proposal. The discussion is placed in the context of Poland’s crisis management system, which provides both an inspiration and an underpinning for the proposed “Four Lights” platform. The authors also describe some recent applications and current development trends in the area of crisis/disaster management systems.

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279-290
Fogli, D. and Guida, G.
Keywords:Emergency Management Knowledge-Based Systems Collaboration

This paper focuses on the collaboration among emergency managers in charge of planning, coordinating and controlling the course of actions necessary to face an emergency. Our experience in different projects has led us to define a novel collaboration model grounded on decision support, considered as the core function that motivates and sustains inter personal collaboration. According to this approach, a general knowledge based decision support system is proposed, along with suitable methods for its customization to a specific domain. A case study concerning the emergency situation generated by a pandemic flu is finally analyzed with the purpose of illustrating the application of the proposed approach and demonstrating its practical impact.

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291-302
Delir Haghighi, P., Burstein, F., Arbon, P. and Zaslavsky, A.
Keywords:Ubiquitous Decision Support Systems Decision Making Ontology Ontology Reasoning Mass Gatherings Medical Emergency Management

Management in mass gatherings is a complex process that consists of three major phases: planning, operational response, and debriefing. Each of these phases involves information exchange between different agencies involved in planning and running the event. It has been widely recognized that the data quality and access to critical information impact on the efficiency of the response and overall effectiveness of the emergency management. Therefore, there is a need for solid understanding of the information needs of the agencies pertinent to designing efficient decision support systems, which are truly integrated into the context of business environment and facilitate IT enabled work of the personnel organizing and running mass gathering events. Introduction of such ubiquitous systems depends on availability of ontology of the problem domain, which provides a common ground for information integration, gathering and exchange. We propose a conceptual architecture for ontology based, IT enabled decision support that extends to all phases of mass gatherings. As an example, we describe a case based reasoning (CBR) system which takes advantage of such an ontology and ontology reasoning and can be used for prediction of medical workload and providing better understanding of mass gathering events during planning or training of new staff.

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303-314
Sathyanarayana, P., Tran, P. N. K., Meredith, R. A. and O'Donnell, P.
Keywords:Social Media Research in Progress Protocol Development Web 2.0

This short paper presents an overview of the development of an analysis protocol for measuring the level of support for Web 2.0 affordances in web sites and other social information technology systems. The protocol will be used to validate a framework for understanding business intelligence 2.0 tools, as well as providing an empirical basis for a general definition of the Web 2.0 concept.

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317-322
Saguna, Zaslavsky, A. and Paris, C.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Context Awareness Social Networks

Decision support systems (DSS) are beginning to use content sourced from social networks such as Twitter to provide decision makers with information to make timely and critical decisions. Misleading information obtained from Twitter can lead to adverse outcomes as well as cause trust issues within DSSs. In this paper, we propose and investigate a context aware Twitter validator (CATVal) system to validate credibility and authenticity of Twitter content at run time for use in DSS. We build, store and update a credibility index for Twitter users and verify user’s context information each time a user tweets. The proposed system can benefit a DSS by providing credible and dependable information while detecting misleading and false information sourced from Twitter and possible other social media.

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323-334
Neville, K., Woodworth, S. and O'Sullivan-Rochford, C.
Keywords:Financial LMS Curriculum Design Active Learning

This paper describes the creation of an interactive online learning management tool for the accounting and IS professions. The financial learning management system (FinLMS) will be used by accounting practitioners and learners to create and understand how financial statements work together and to explore the relationships between the primary financial statements being: income statements, statement of cash flow and balance sheet statements for decision making. It has been pilot tested in a third level university delivering accounting and finance courses to two undergraduate programmes. The FinLMS will allow learners to enter data into financial statements, and to manipulate the results using sensitivity analysis and stress testing of key financial ratios. This is achieved through a tutorial driven, stepped approach to active learning. Learners will be able to test their understanding of financial theory and educators will be able to track student progress. Practitioner user requirements were specified by an industrial partner and best practices for methodological approaches in managing accounting, finance and IS (AFIS) knowledge were provided by the FinLMS development group consisting of AFIS educators. This consortium of practitioners and educators collaborated extensively to devise a FinLMS that merges best practices in online education with specific interdisciplinary curriculum training requirements for the accounting and IS professions.

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335-346
Handzic, M. and Ozlen, K.
Keywords:Knowledge Management Systems System Sophistication Context Complexity System Usage Decision Performance Decision Support

The objective of this paper was to examine the impact of KMS sophistication on decision support in varying decision contexts. Specifically, the study was concerned with individual decision makers’ performance and use of two types of KMS (unsophisticated, sophisticated) in two decision contexts (simple, complex). The results indicate that the availability of more sophisticated KMS led to a greater extent of system use irrespective of the decision context complexity. However, its positive performance impacts on the users’ decision quality, confidence and satisfaction were limited to simple contexts only.

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349-357
Farley, S., Brodsky, A. and Sherry, L.
Keywords:Decision Guidance Management Systems Passenger Trip Delay Database Languages SMRGOL

It has been the practice of the majority of airlines to reschedule passengers and flights so as to minimize flight delay. Some airlines are now starting to look at the problem of rescheduling from the perspective of the passenger and are trying to minimize the impact of missed and cancelled connecting flights on the consumer. In this paper we propose the algorithm Schedule Minimization foR Generalized Operational Logistics (SMRGOL) for minimizing airline passenger trip delay. Though SMRGOL is the first step in developing an algorithm for decreasing passenger trip delay, we demonstrate improvement in passenger delay.

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358-364
Manjia, M. B., Kouamou, G. E. and Pettang, C.
Keywords:Housing Project Risk Labor Cost Matrix Self-Construction SIAD

The informal sector of housing provision, although difficult, has become the principal method of housing provision within the construction sector of most developing countries. As an informal sector, practices are characterized by ambiguous management approaches. This situation leads to delays in the completion of some projects. Five major difficulties characterize and depreciate the informal sector, then generate its main complexity. These include disparity of constructions funds sources, the abstruse of labor cost management due to the self employment of workers, the irrationality of construction means, the lack of standardization of some materials and the land insecurity. Those factors have an impact in the project risk. Even though we cannot reduce the resultant of this risk to zero, this paper presents a decision support aid (SIAD) for cost control that can help the self constructor to minimize the project risk in the unregulated construction informal sector.

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365-376
Bournaris, T. and Papathanasiou, J.
Keywords:Environmental Decision Support Systems Optimisation Multicriteria Mathematical Programming Weighted Goal Programming

The EU Water Decision Support System has been developed in the context of the research project entitled EU Water (http://eu-water.eu, financed by the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme). The DSS is designed bearing in mind the ‘ease of use’ aspect and is based on the related GIS Maps created using LOS Indices developed for EU Water project. It is an important planning tool enabling regional authorities to design sustainable agricultural policies best applicable to the area. The implementation of the DSS optimizes the farm plan of the pilot area taking into account the available resources (land, labour, capital) and environmental parameters (nitrate reduction, water consumption, etc). It is further used to simulate different scenarios and policies due to changes on different social, economic and environmental parameters (e.g. different levels of chemicals or water consumption per crop). The model behind the DSS is an Optimization Multicriteria Mathematical Programming (OMMP) model based on Weighted Goal Programming techniques and the selected area for implementing the pilot action is a part of the Sarigkiol basin in Northern Greece.

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379-390
Liu, S., Wang, Z.-M. and Liu, L.
Keywords:Sustainable Supply Chain Management Integrated Sustainability Analysis Lifecycle Assessment Multicriteria Decision Making

Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) has recently emerged to address environmental and social concerns in product and service operations. Existing research has investigated sustainability issues at isolated stages of the supply chains. This paper aims to address Triple Bottom Line sustainability in a coherent manner. The paper proposes an integrated sustainability analysis (ISA) approach which seamlessly integrates Life Cycle Assessment into Multi Criteria Decision Making process. Application of the integrated approach to an industrial case demonstrates that the proposed approach can provide concerted scientific backup to efficiently and effectively support holistic decision making in SSCM. The ISA approach has the potential to enable true integration of environmental management and social responsibility with supply chain management.

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391-402
Gambelli, D., Zanoli, R. and Solfanelli, F.
Keywords:Decision Networks Certification in the Organic Sector Risk Assessment

Inspections in organic farming systems are the key tool to assure reliability of the organic business and detection of non compliant operators. Supporting control bodies in the inspection procedure can increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector. Here we propose a decision support system for inspections based on Bayesian networks. Our model is based on statistical information taken from the archives of main Italian control body, and considers decision strategies according to the maximization of expected utility based on risk minimization.

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403-408
Taghezout, N., Ascar, B. and Bessedik, I.
Keywords:Agent-Based Architecture Activity Based Costing Method Agent Based Decision Support System Tissue Production INOTIS Enterprise

We describe the development of an agent based Decision Support System in the spunlace nonwovens production industry. This work constitutes the first pilot system that models and evaluates major products costs by using Activity Based Costing methodology in INOTIS enterprise. One of the main aspects addressed in the decision making process is the knowledge management of the most frequently failures of machines as the card, aqua jet etc. This paper mainly focuses on proposing an agent model composed of six agents namely Resource Agent (RA), Cost Agent (CA), COordinator Agent (COA), Data Manager Agent (DMA), Maintenance Agent (MA) and Scheduling Decision selection Agent (SDA). Not only was possible to support the necessary decisions, but several models were also displayed so that production manager or decision maker could support new problems.

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411-422
Papakiriakopoulous, D., Karagiannaki, A., Giovanis, A. and Binioris, S.
Keywords:Product Availability Stock Out Classification Methods

The out of shelf problem is among the most important retail problems. An alerting mechanism that would suggest which products the store manager should consider in order to avoid out of shelf instances is considered to be of great value. In trying to encounter this problem, we considered the prevention of out of shelf as a classification problem. By utilizing the four different classification methods, we examined the predictive accuracy based on real life data sets. The comparison of the results has been facilitated by Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves and examined both at retail chain and to the store level. Based on the results obtained, we were able to draw brief remarks.

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423-434
Chalamish, M., Galili, E. and Schild, U. J.
Keywords:Knowledge Management Intelligent Decision Support Wigmore Diagrams Criminal Evidence Marshalling

Building up a case to be presented in court, is similar to carefully placing the many parts of a puzzle and creating a picture. Arranging the parts in different ways will result in different pictures. The criminal attorney has to fuse different sources of evidence and create a single, highly detailed case. The Decision Support System presented in this paper is based on the Wigmore Diagram model and aims at assisting the attorney in this "puzzle creating" tedious task using intelligent computational methods.

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435-445
Norese, M. F., Novello, C. and Salassa, F.
Keywords:Conceptual and Contextual Representations Incorporation and Control of Complex Factors Problem Formulation and Structuring Conceptual Design

A system that integrates different tools, ranging from multi criteria analysis and mathematical programming to cognitive and social psychology, is proposed to cope with the complexities and uncertainties that generate criticality in the socio technical approach. The purpose of this paper is to examine the potentialities of this system, above all in terms of information fusion and use in various contexts, and to propose an application in relation to an industrial project, in order to support the conceptual phase of the design process.

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