This paper describes a new approach to design modern information systems that offer an integrated access to the data and knowledge that is available in local applications. By integrating the local data management activities into one transparent information distribution process, modern organizations can offer better support for its workers in the execution and coordination of their work activities. Observing practical applications of decentralized, autonomous and heterogeneous information systems we see deficiencies in currently available approaches to model such information systems. They do not acknowledge the pivotal role that (informal) communicating workers play in the context of an entire organization. The interaction between the members of social and informal groups of employees makes it possible that (in many of today’s information-intensive enterprises) the local structured procedures can be effectively and flexibly integrated into global work processes supporting the business goals. Traditional design techniques concentrate on either the structured local procedures (and its local database applications), the structured global process (and its global business goals), or the informal (less structured) communication between individuals. We suggest to combine an activity-based model (suited to describe the structured parts of the processes) with a goal- or conversation-based model to tie the different elements together. Using an agent architecture we show that it is possible to implement this integrated approach. The different types of cooperating agents support the individual workers by assessing the goal of the activity, the applicability of the standard procedure, and the availability of alternative knowledge and information in order to supply the necessary information.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|