Tuesday , October 23 2018

Towards Intelligent Collaborative
Decision Support Platforms

Ciprian CANDEA1, Florin Gheorghe FILIP
1
ROPARDO Ltd.,

2A, Reconstructiei Street,
Sibiu, RO-550129, Romania
ciprian.candea@ropardo.ro
2 The Romanian Academy (BAR and INCE),

125, Calea Victoriei,
Bucharest RO-910071, Romania
ffilip@acad.ro

Abstract: The paper is about the use of new concepts and information technologies (IT) in the field of computer supported group decision-making. iDS (intelligent DecisionSupport) , a practical IT platform that supports the activities in the group decision-making is used as a vehicle to illustrate the methodology and evolution of the solution adopted under the influence of new information technologies and practical applications. iDS has been designed and evolved to be useful, usable and used, by avoiding the need for complex training and preventing user rejection. It provides a collaborative working environment where group members can create and attend different types of decision sessions, named ‘work sessions’. The iDS platform covers collaborative and group decision sessions, as well as individual decision sessions in a way that users on each decision stage are free to collaborate with other users.

Keywords: cloud computing, decision-making model, mobile computing, service oriented solutions, workflow.

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CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Ciprian CANDEA, Florin Gheorghe FILIP, Towards Intelligent Collaborative Decision Support Platforms, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 25(2), pp. 143-152, 2016.

  1. Introduction

As presented in (Keen 1980: Filip 1995, 2008; Power and Phillips-Wren 2011; Borne et al 2013: p 295), the systems meant to support decisions evolve under the influence of various factors such users’ requirements and skills, technology development, usage practice and results and so on. The story of DISPATCHER family of DSS (decision support systems) designed, evolved and used in continuous process industry in 1980’s and early 2000’s (Figure 1) is described in (Filip, 2011, 2012). Since then the technology and business models changed at a high pace and new solutions have been designed and deployed.

Groups represent a special case that assumes several people, possibly located in different places, are involved in decision-making activities(Filip, 2008). The modern information technologies such as mobile computing, web technology and service oriented architectures enable the implementation and deployment of effective solutions. The paper presents iDS, a practical IT platform meant to support group decision-making activities, which is used as a vehicle to illustrate the modern technologies and the evolutions in the field of computer supported group decision-making.

From a technical point of view, iDecisionSupport has been developed as a “framework for decision support tools that provides a collaborative environment where different software tools for decision making can be easily integrated while the users can access them remotely and asynchronously” (Georgescu et al 2007). To actively support user needs, the iDS platform facilitates each step of the decision making process – intelligence, design, choice, and implementation and review. For each of these phases, at least one software tool is provided so that the user could select and use the most appropriate one. To ensure a full flexibility and to respond to various application specific needs, iDS allows integrating third party tools.

The default set of tools proposed are:

  • the discussion list (a forum-like tool for discussions),
  • voting (a tool that allows grading or expressing the agreements over a set of issues),
  • electronic brainstorming based on the Issue Based Information System (IBIS) approach (Conklin 2003; Conklin and Begeman, 1988),
  • Mind Map (Buzan 2003), and
  • Categorization (Sebastiani 2002).

The decision model that is implemented on the iDS platform is based on the Shared Plans theory (Grosz and Kraus 2002) and it was tested for the first time as a software prototype in 2001, as described in (Zamfirescu et al 2002).

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https://doi.org/10.24846/v25i2y201601