Discovering Cross-Disciplinary Concepts in Multidisciplinary Context Through Collaborative Framework

Discovering Cross-Disciplinary Concepts in Multidisciplinary Context Through Collaborative Framework

Akkharawoot Takhom (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Nomi, Japan), Sasiporn Usanavasin (Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Khlong Nueng, Thailand), Thepchai Supnithi (National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, Khlong Nueng, Thailand), Mitsuru Ikeda (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Nomi, Japan), Heinz Ulrich Hoppe (University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany) and Prachya Boonkwan (National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, Khlong, Nueng, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJKSS.2020040101
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When domain experts try to find a business solution, ambiguous terms arise within the context of discussion in a multidisciplinary research group. Different meanings and relationships with various concepts cause ambiguous semantics. This research aims to address complex business problems in a collaborative research group. This approach presents a collaborative framework based on network text analysis for detecting cross-disciplinary concepts in a multidisciplinary context. The framework recognizes ambiguous concepts (common terms presented in multiple domain knowledge), and these terms are visualized as a network. A case study of sustainable development demonstrates the identification of a set of cross-disciplinary concepts and their relationships across different domains. The main contributions are providing a framework to detect essential concepts that contain the cross-disciplinary concepts and recognize the understanding of multidisciplinary knowledge in the discussion context.
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In multidisciplinary research groups, one of the global challenges is to find a business solution. Recognition of domain expert’s perspectives is necessary to understand the characteristics of multidisciplinary thinking (Alvargonzález, 2011). For example, sustainability science (Gruen et al., 2008) involving many disciplines is difficult to identify different perspectives and their misunderstandings among domain experts (Bernard & Anita, 2006).

Several research studies have been conducted and provided their working approach to alleviate this problematic situation. Becker et al. (Becker, Jahn, Stieß, & Wehling, 1997) purposed an approach of detecting cross-disciplinary terms in question-answering contexts. However, this approach has some obstacles to discover a cause of confusion and identify multidisciplinarity that would indicate the need for cross-disciplinary analysis of concepts. Then, Carley et al. (Carley, Columbus, & Azoulay, 2012) purposed to extract the essentials terms and represent interrelationships among terminologies from different domains by the approach of network-text analysis (NTA) (Diesner & Carley, 2004). After that, the NTA approach has been exploited successfully in the following research studies (Aviv, Erlich, Ravid, & Geva, 2003; Daems, Erkens, Malzahn, & Hoppe, 2014; Hecking & Hoppe, 2015).

In the case of a collaborative research group, a remaining challenge is to identify misunderstandings within contexts underlying a multidisciplinary paradigm. The research approach in this paper purposes a collaboration framework based on the NTA approach for discovering cross-disciplinary concepts. Nonetheless, the cross-disciplinary approach also has some obstacles, namely: (1) how to discover cross-disciplinary concepts that are the cause of ambiguity in Q&A discussions, and (2) how to identify multidisciplinarity that would indicate the need for cross-disciplinary analysis of concepts.

For overcoming the obstacles, this research demonstrate necessity in discovering ambiguius within multidisciplinary paradigms. For example, many organizations have been trying promoted the sustainable development (SD) paradigm in their business solutions, especially in ecological friendly process. However, applying the SD paradigm is necessary to understand three major domain knowledge: environment, economics, and social. Life cycle assessment (LCA) (Clift, 1993) is a crucial domain knowledge that calculate environmental impacts in organization’s process. When different domain experts share their knowledge, participants sometime misunderstand other in the multidisciplinary research group. Therefore, in this paper, we analyze the cause of ambiguity thought their discussion contexts.

In the contexts of knowledge sharing, it is noticeable that a single discipline alone as the LCA domain could not cover all explanations related to gaps among the different relevant perspectives. The empirical study is based on discussions from the LCA domain. Therefore, this research study has an intension to enhance a collaborative framework based on the NTA approach that is exploited to discover the cause of ambiguity. The main contributions of this work are as follows: (1) discovering cross-disciplinary concepts (ambiguous terms used across multiple domains) existing in a valuable source of knowledge as a discussion forum as about, (2) an understanding and representation of multidisciplinary knowledge (knowledge that contains cross-disciplinary concepts) in discussion contexts, and (3) an identification in causes of miscommunication in cross-disciplinary research collaborations and discussions.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 explains multidisciplinarity through contexts of discussions, a discussion forum and participants, and a network perspective for contexts analysis. Section 3 next introduces a cross-disciplinary approach to discover multidisciplinarity. An empirical study is taking question and answers contexts from the LCA domain into account in discovering cross-disciplinary concepts. Section 4 explains working results and discuss important issues. Lastly, Section 5 concludes the main contributions and gives an outlook on further work.

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