Innovative Features in a Distributed Decision-Support System Based on Intelligent Agent Technology

Innovative Features in a Distributed Decision-Support System Based on Intelligent Agent Technology

Nicholas V. Findler (Arizona State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-045-5.ch011
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The author and his students were engaged in a multi-year project, SENTINEL, aimed at computerizing the strategic and tactical planning processes of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). In the course of this activity, we were also creating a decision support system for the human participants acting at the different levels of the USCG hierarchy. The chapter will describe the objectives, the problems and constraints of the task environment, as well as the solution to some problems that are fundamental and ubiquitous in many real-time, spatially and temporally distributed multi-agent systems. The fundamental and overall task of a Decision Support System (DDS) implemented was to allocate moving resources to moving tasks in an optimum manner over space and time while considering numerous constraints. We have introduced three significant innovations necessary to accomplish our goals. 1. Dynamic Scoping refers to a need-driven change in the size of the domain from which moving resources are called upon to accomplish moving tasks. The size of the domain has a limitation prescribed by the dynamic task environment, the technical capabilities of the resources, and the relationship between the expected gains and expenses. 2. The second innovation concerns “resource scheduling under time constraints.” We have introduced a method for the proper ordering of operating attributes and constraints in terms of a utility function. PRIORITY = IMPORTANCE*URGENCY Here, Importance is a measure of the relative static importance of an attribute in the decision making process. Urgency characterizes its gradually changing (usually increasing) relative importance over time. The constraints are arranged according to the priorities. More and more details are taken into account with each time-slice and more and more knowledge is used in the inference mechanism. A time-slice is the minimum time required for performing a unit of meaningful decision making. The ordering of constraints according to priorities guarantees that the result of planning is as good as time has permitted “so far.” 3. We have studied interagent communication and optimum message routing. Agents communicate at different levels—requesting and providing information, ordering/suggesting/accepting solutions to sub-problems, asking for and offering help, etc. The total knowledge about the environment and agent capabilities is too large to be stored by every agent, and the continual updating about the changes only aggravates the situation. The usual hierarchical organization structure for communication is inflexible, inefficient and error-prone. We have introduced the constrained lattice-like communication structure that permits direct interaction between functionally related agents at any level. The hierarchical and the lattice-like organizational structures may coexist: A transfer of temporary control over resources can be negotiated between the relevant agents directly while higher-level authorities will learn about the decisions, and can also modify or completely reject their implementation.

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Manuel Mora, Guisseppi A. Forgionne, Jatinder N. D. Gupta
Table of Contents
Manuel Mora, Guisseppi A. Forgionne, Jatinder N. D. Gupta
Chapter 1
Guisseppi A. Forgionne
Various information systems have evolved to support the decision making process. There are decision support systems (DSS), executive information... Sample PDF
An Architecture for the Integration of Decision Making Support Functionalities
Chapter 2
D. J. Power
This chapter summarizes a multidimensional approach to categorizing specific decision support systems (DSS) developed in Power (2002) and related... Sample PDF
Categorizing Decision Support Systems: A Multidimensional Approach
Chapter 3
Peter B. Keenan
Many types of challenging problems faced by decision makers have a geographic or spatial component. Spatial decision support systems (SDSS) can... Sample PDF
Spatial Decision Support Systems
Chapter 4
Jean-Charles Pomerol, Frederic Adam
In this chapter we begin by featuring the main characteristics of the human decision process. Then, from these traits, we separate the decision... Sample PDF
From Human Decision Making to DMSS Architecture
Chapter 5
B. Adenso-Diaz, J. Tuya, M. J. Suarez Cabal, M. Goitia Fuertes
In the daily activity of railway transport, the need to make decisions when faced with unforeseen incidents is a common event. Quality of service my... Sample PDF
DSS for Rescheduling of Railway Services under Unplanned Events
Chapter 6
Francesco M. Rinaldi, Donald Bain, Rinaldo Bain
More than 70% of Europe’s population lives in urban areas. Transport pollution contributes significantly to severe health problems in many European... Sample PDF
Using Decision Support Systems to Help Policy Makers Cope with Urban Transport Problems
Chapter 7
Beverly G. Hope, Rosemary H. Wild
This chapter describes the development of a system to assist teams in determining which problems to address and what data to collect in order to... Sample PDF
Procedural Cuing Using an Expert Support System
Chapter 8
Pirkko Nykanen
A decision support system can be approached from two major disciplinary perspectives, those of information systems science (ISS) and artificial... Sample PDF
On the Ontology of a Decision Support System in Health Informatics
Chapter 9
Rick Gibson
The purpose of this chapter is to explore the practical application of knowledge management as an aid to decision making by pharmaceutical firms... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management Support for Decision Making in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Chapter 10
Hugh J. Watson, Linda Volonino
Data warehousing has significantly changed how decision making is supported in organizations. A leading application of data warehousing is customer... Sample PDF
Customer Relationship Management at Harrah's Entertainment
Chapter 11
Nicholas V. Findler
The author and his students were engaged in a multi-year project, SENTINEL, aimed at computerizing the strategic and tactical planning processes of... Sample PDF
Innovative Features in a Distributed Decision-Support System Based on Intelligent Agent Technology
Chapter 12
Hamid Nemati, Natalie Steiger, David Steiger, Richard T. Herschel
This paper proposes a knowledge warehouse architecture to enhance both DSS and knowledge management efforts. First, differences in data... Sample PDF
Knowledge Warehouse: An Intelligent Analysis Platform for Enhancing Management Decision Process
Chapter 13
Debbie Richards
Knowledge is becoming increasingly recognized as a valuable resource. Given its importance it is surprising that expert systems technology has not... Sample PDF
Ripple Down Rules: A Technique for Acquiring Knowledge
Chapter 14
Charu Chandra, Alexander V. Smirnov
As firms compete in global markets, they design and implement complex business systems, such as Supply Chain, Virtual Enterprise, Web-Based... Sample PDF
Intelligent Support Framework of Group Decision Making for Complex Business Systems
Chapter 15
Giuliano Pistolesi
Synthetic Characters are intelligent agents able to show typical human-like cognitive behavior and an artificially-made perceived personality by... Sample PDF
How Synthetic Characters Can Help Decision-Making
Chapter 16
Lee A. Freeman
Information systems, and specifically decision making support systems, present information to users in a variety of modes—raw data, tables, graphs... Sample PDF
Using Narratives to Convey Knowledge in Decision Making Support Systems
Chapter 17
Harold W. Webb, Surya B. Yadav
The objective of this chapter is to demonstrate the use of a decision support systems research (DSSR) framework to improve decision making support... Sample PDF
Quality Factors for DMSS Assessment: An Application of Research Frameworks
Chapter 18
Jose L. Roldan, Antonio Leal
Executive Information Systems (EIS) began to become popular in Spain in the 1990s. This chapter offers a primary descriptive study of EIS in Spain... Sample PDF
Executive Information Systems in Spain: A Study of Current Practices and Comparative Analysis
Chapter 19
Frederic Adam, Jean-Charles Pomeral
Based on the Rockart’s critical success factor (CSF) approach, this chapter puts forward a practical method to guide the development of executive... Sample PDF
Critical Factors in the Development of Executive Systems-Leveraging the Dashboard Approach
Chapter 20
Manuel Mora, Francisco Cervantes-Perez, Ovsei Gelman-Muravchik, Guisseppi A. Forgionne, Marcelo Mejia-Olvera
The implementation process of Decision-Making Support Systems (DMSS) is a highly complex process. Frequent implementation failures have caused the... Sample PDF
DMSS Implementation Research: A Conceptual Analysis of the Contributions and Limitations of the Factor-Based and Stage-Based Streams
Chapter 21
F. N. de Silva, R. W. Eglese, M. Pidd
Issues concerning the development of Spatial Decision Systems for evacuation planning include realistic modelling of evacuee behavior... Sample PDF
Evacuation Planning and Spatial Decision Making: Designing Effective Spatial Decision Support Systems through Integration of Technologies
Chapter 22
Bee K. Yew, WeiXiong Ho, Marvin D. Troutt
The knowledge economy is driven by growth and development of intellectual capital in organizations. Knowledge is defined to be reusable abstractions... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management and Sharing
Chapter 23
Guisseppi A. Forgionne, Jatinder N.D. Gupta, Manuel Mora
Previous chapters have described the state of the art in decision making support systems (DMSS). This chapter synthesizes the views of leading... Sample PDF
Decision Making Support Systems: Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities
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