Maintaining awareness using policies; Enabling agents to identify relevance of information

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Journal Article
Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 2012, 78 (1), pp. 370 - 391
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The field of computer supported cooperative work aims at providing information technology models, methods, and tools that assist individuals to cooperate. The presented paper is based on three main observations from literature. First, one of the problems in utilizing information technology for cooperation is to identify the relevance of information, called awareness. Second, research in computer supported cooperative work proposes the use of agent technologies to aid individuals to maintain their awareness. Third, literature lacks the formalized methods on how software agents can identify awareness. This paper addresses the problem of awareness identification. The main contribution of this paper is to propose and evaluate a formalized structure, called Policy-based Awareness Management (PAM). PAM extends the logic of general awareness in order to identify relevance of information. PAM formalizes existing policies into Directory Enabled Networks-next generation structure and uses them as a source for awareness identification. The formalism is demonstrated by applying PAM to the space shuttle Columbia disaster occurred in 2003. The paper also argues that efficacy and cost-efficiency of the logic of general awareness will be increased by PAM. This is evaluated by simulation of hypothetical scenarios as well as a case study. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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