Knowledge-based support for software selection in information centers: Design criteria, development issues, and empirical evaluation.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/184417
Title:
Knowledge-based support for software selection in information centers: Design criteria, development issues, and empirical evaluation.
Author:
Vinze, Ajay Shreekrishna.
Issue Date:
1988
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
An information center (IC) is described as an organization designed to help end users help themselves. ICs are expected to provide several services to end users. The services can be summarized as: consultation, distribution and trouble-shooting. The research is focused on a specific consultation activity: software selection. Providing support for selection and evaluation of software for users constitutes 91.5 percent of a typical IC's daily workload. In the last decade, ICs have proved successful in managing software resources for organizations. The initial success of ICs has increased user expectations and demand for the services offered but, because ICs are considered cost centers in most organizations, there is growing pressure for them to accomplish more with fewer resources. The research hypothesis is that the knowledge and methodologies of IC consultants, concerning software selection, as well as relevant institutional policies, can be represented in a knowledge base. A knowledge-based system ICE (Information Center Expert) to assist users with software selection has been developed and evaluated in the study reported here. The development of ICE used two main design criteria: maintainability and transportability. Maintainability was defined as the ability to support frequent updating of the software supported by an IC. This is important because new software tools are introduced in the market at a very rapid rate; to stay competitive an IC must be able continually to adapt to this dynamic environment. Transportability was considered necessary to make ICE usable in many different ICs, each supporting a different set of software. The transportability feature allows different ICs to individualize the system to meet their own site-specific needs. Validation studies were conducted to test the appropriateness of the recommendations made by ICE, using "blind" validation procedures in which scenarios (in case form) were presented to consultants. The cases were selected to represent problems frequently taken to an IC. Two sets of solutions, those offered by consultants and those provided by ICE, were then presented to experts who were asked to judge the appropriateness of each solution to a case without knowing its source. To test the comparative advantages of using ICE or IC consultants to obtain assistance with software selection a laboratory experiment was conducted. A hypothetical construct called "Consultation Effectiveness" was used, which included measures for "user satisfaction" with the process, as well as measures for the "task basis" and the "recommendation basis" for evaluating a consultation session.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Computer software -- Verification.; Expert systems (Computer science)
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Business Administration; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nunamaker, Jay F.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleKnowledge-based support for software selection in information centers: Design criteria, development issues, and empirical evaluation.en_US
dc.creatorVinze, Ajay Shreekrishna.en_US
dc.contributor.authorVinze, Ajay Shreekrishna.en_US
dc.date.issued1988en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractAn information center (IC) is described as an organization designed to help end users help themselves. ICs are expected to provide several services to end users. The services can be summarized as: consultation, distribution and trouble-shooting. The research is focused on a specific consultation activity: software selection. Providing support for selection and evaluation of software for users constitutes 91.5 percent of a typical IC's daily workload. In the last decade, ICs have proved successful in managing software resources for organizations. The initial success of ICs has increased user expectations and demand for the services offered but, because ICs are considered cost centers in most organizations, there is growing pressure for them to accomplish more with fewer resources. The research hypothesis is that the knowledge and methodologies of IC consultants, concerning software selection, as well as relevant institutional policies, can be represented in a knowledge base. A knowledge-based system ICE (Information Center Expert) to assist users with software selection has been developed and evaluated in the study reported here. The development of ICE used two main design criteria: maintainability and transportability. Maintainability was defined as the ability to support frequent updating of the software supported by an IC. This is important because new software tools are introduced in the market at a very rapid rate; to stay competitive an IC must be able continually to adapt to this dynamic environment. Transportability was considered necessary to make ICE usable in many different ICs, each supporting a different set of software. The transportability feature allows different ICs to individualize the system to meet their own site-specific needs. Validation studies were conducted to test the appropriateness of the recommendations made by ICE, using "blind" validation procedures in which scenarios (in case form) were presented to consultants. The cases were selected to represent problems frequently taken to an IC. Two sets of solutions, those offered by consultants and those provided by ICE, were then presented to experts who were asked to judge the appropriateness of each solution to a case without knowing its source. To test the comparative advantages of using ICE or IC consultants to obtain assistance with software selection a laboratory experiment was conducted. A hypothetical construct called "Consultation Effectiveness" was used, which included measures for "user satisfaction" with the process, as well as measures for the "task basis" and the "recommendation basis" for evaluating a consultation session.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectComputer software -- Verification.en_US
dc.subjectExpert systems (Computer science)en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineBusiness Administrationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNunamaker, Jay F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberVogel, Douglas R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRam, Sudhaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWagner, W. Garyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEarley, Paul C.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest8814285en_US
dc.identifier.oclc701248108en_US
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