|The competitiveness of companies active in areas with high market change rate depends
heavily on how they maintain and access their knowledge (i.e., their corporate memory).
Most information in modern electronic media is textual, visual, and audial and rather
weakly structured. This holds for the internet but also for the large intranets of
companies and organizations.
Finding and maintaining information is a hard problem in this weakly structured
representation media. An increasing number of companies are realising that their company's
intranets are valuable repositories of corporate information. However, raw information in
large quantities does not by itself solve business problems, produce value or provide
competitive advantage. Information is useless without an understanding of how to apply it
effectively. But with the volume of information available increasing rapidly, turning
information into useful knowledge has become a major problem.
Knowledge Management is about acquiring, maintaining, and accessing knowledge of an
organization. It aims to exploit an organisation's intellectual assets for greater
productivity, new value, and increased competitiveness.
Due to globalisation and the impact of the Internet, many organisations are
increasingly geographically dispersed and organised around virtual teams. Such
organisations need knowledge management and organisational memory tools that encourage
users to understand each other's changing contextual knowledge and foster collaboration
while capturing, representing and interpreting the knowledge resources of their
Such enhanced corporate knowledge can be exploited in a variety of ways. Sharing and
re-using current best practice improves current business processes and eliminate
duplication of effort. New business opportunities can be generated by collecting
intelligence on markets and sales leads and new products and services can be created,
developed and brought to the market place ahead of your competitors.
Project Extension Rationale The problem: building real-world
applications involving knowledge management is too complex. Making use of
the fruits of the Artificial Intelligence is often too challenging and expensive
for the software developers and system integrators. The components (tools,
services, etc.) that involve formal knowledge management technics does not
make an exception in this respect Ð they are either two shallow (so, providing
questionable performance) either to hard for understanding and tunning. The
problem can be explained by analogy Ð it took to the IT community about two
decades to adopt the relational detabases: to understand the paradigm, to
develop mature systems, to gather exploitation practices, to learn how to
build systems around them, how to tune and maintain them, and finally, to
accumulate a critical mass of people that can manage them. We are faced with
similar problems with the knowledge management systems.
Solving the problem: Software Architecture. One of the
things that changed the situation arround the relational databases was that
a lot of software infrastructure (libraries, components, layers, application
servers, etc.) was developed to facilitate their use in an easy and as much
as possible vendor independent fashion. The already running project is trying
to develope methodology, languages and tools targeted to resolve the principal
problems related with the knowledge management in a heterogenuous environments.
This extension will define and develop a software architecture in order to
resolve the everyday technical difficulties that use to raise the cost of
buildging of real-world solutions arround such technologies.