Web@IDSS - Argumentation-enabled Web-based IDSS for reasoning over incomplete and conflicting information

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Journal Article
Knowledge-Based Systems, 2012, 32 (1), pp. 9 - 27
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Over the past few decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in using high-level software intelligence for business intelligence (BI). The objective is to produce actionable information that is delivered at the right time, easily comprehendible and exportable to other software to assist business decision-making processes. Although the design and development of decision support systems (DSS) has been carried out for over 40 years, DSS still suffer from many limitations such as poor maintainability, poor flexibility and less reusability. The development of the Internet and WWW has helped information systems to overcome those limitations and Web DSS is now an active area of research in business intelligence, impacting significantly on the way information is exchanged and businesses are conducted. However, to remain competitive, companies rely on business intelligence (BI) to continually monitor and analyze the operating environment (both internal and external), to identify potential risks, and to devise competitive business strategies. However, the current Web DSS applications are not able to reason over information present across organizational boundaries which could be incomplete and conflicting. The use of an argumentation-based mechanism has not been explored to address such shortcomings in Web DSS. Argumentation is a kind of commonsense reasoning used by human beings to reach a justifiable conclusion when available information is incomplete and/or inconsistent among participants. In this paper, we propose and elaborate in detail a conceptual framework and formal argumentation-based semantics for Web enabled Intelligent DSS (Web@IDSS). We evaluate the use of argumentative reasoning in Web DSS with the help of a case study, prototype development and future directions. Applications built according to the proposed framework will provide more practical, understandable results to decision makers.
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