Survey of DSS Development Methodologies

Survey of DSS Development Methodologies

Natheer K. Gharaibeh (College of the Computer Science and Engineering, Taibah University,Yanbu Branch, Saudi Arabia) and Abdulaziz Al-Raddadi (College of the Computer Science and Engineering, Taibah University,Yanbu Branch, Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5202-6.ch216
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Introduction

Finding appropriate DSS (Decision Support System) development processes and methodologies (Gachet, 2005) is a topic that has kept researchers in the decision support community busy for the past three decades at least. The DSS development methodologies changed after 1995 because the DSS community has always shown great interest in the underlying technology and rapidly emerging Information Technology underpins DSS (O’Leary, 2008).

Inspired by Hayen (Hayen, 2004) it is fair to contend that the field of DSS development is reaching the end of its matured stage, which is characterized by the multiplicity of processes and methodologies in all areas of decision support. Despite that, none of these approaches predominate and the various DSS development processes usually remain very distinct. This situation can be interpreted as a sign that the field of DSS development should soon enter in its formalization (or control) stage. Therefore, the objective of this chapter is to focus on the controlled integration of the existing solutions in a unified body of knowledge and to come up with advantages and disadvantages of the previous methodologies

One of the latest studies (Gachet, 2006) showed that DSS development methodologies are characterized by different underlying philosophies, historically, a large amount of research on the development of DSS focuses on organizational issues, technical issues, or both kinds of issues at the same time. Whereas it is widely recognized that these two categories represent the dominant sources of issues that DSS builders had to overcome in the past, a third category, KM issues, gradually surfaces. Bolstered by advances in information technology in general, and artificial intelligence in particular, the field of knowledge management increases the number of development issues previously dealt with partly from an organizational perspective and partly from a technical perspective, but rarely as a perspective of its own.

In the DSS literature, experts prescribe a variety of approaches or methodologies for designing and developing DSS. Everyone does not however agree on what methodology works best for building different types of DSS. For example Gachet (Gachet, 2006) who proposed a bipartite approach in which the software engineering part is separated from the knowledge engineering part. Another example is Turban (Turban, 2005) who described a development process consisting of 6 phases for DSS constructed by end users, also there are many researchers studied DSS Development methodologies from many perspective for example (Marakas, 2003; Zarate, 1998; Elgarah, 2002) .Many researchers preview and compares the Development methodologies of DSS which will be expressed on the next section.

The purpose of this chapter is double. In the second section, it reviews the comparative studies of DSS development methodologies, the goal of this review is to give the reader a thorough understanding of the past and on-going research in DSS development, Section 3 reviews the DSS development methodologies by dividing these perspectives into: three main categories (according to the Organizational, technical and people factors) Section 4 analyze and compare the Development methodologies of DSS. Section 5 shows the required Characteristics of SDM for building DSS, and a summary of the chapter is provided in section 6.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Decision: The choice of one from among a number of alternatives; a statement indicating a commitment to a specific course of action.

ROMC (Representation, Operations, Memory Aids, Mechanism Control): A Systematic approach for developing large-scale DSS, especially user interfaces. It is user-oriented approach for stating system performance requirements (cf., Sprague and Carlson, 1982).

RAD (Rapid Application Development): Part of a methodology that specifies incremental development with constant feedback from the customers. The point is to keep projects focused on delivering value and to keep clear and open lines of communication. Oral and written communication is not completely adequate for specification of computer systems. RAD overcomes the limitations of language by minimizing the time between concept and implementation.

RUP (Rational Unified Process): An iterative software development process framework created by the Rational Software Corporation, a division of IBM since 2003. RUP is not a single concrete prescriptive process, but rather an adaptable process framework, intended to be tailored by the development organizations and software project teams that will select the elements of the process that are appropriate for their needs. RUP is a specific implementation of the Unified Process

DSS (Decision Support System): Interactive computer-based systems intended to help decision makers utilize data and models to identify and solve problems and make decisions.

XP (eXtreme Programming): A software development methodology which is intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. As a type of agile software development, it advocates frequent “releases” in short development cycles (timeboxing), which is intended to improve productivity and introduce checkpoints where new customer requirements can be adopted.

DSE (Decision Support Engineering): DSS development methodology proposed by Saxena in 1991 as a comprehensive methodology based on a life cycle model of DSS development, which encompasses an engineering approach to DSS analysis and design. Prototyping is also an important part of the methodology.

KM (Knowledge Management): The distribution, access and retrieval of unstructured information about “human experiences” between interdependent individuals or among members of a workgroup. Knowledge management involves identifying a group of people who have a need to share knowledge, developing technological support that enables knowledge sharing, and creating a process for transferring and disseminating knowledge.

Prototyping: A strategy in system development in which a scaled down system or portion of a system is constructed in a short time, tested, and improved in several iterations. A prototype is an initial version of a system that is quickly developed to test the effectiveness of the overall design being used to solve a particular problem. Prototyping is similar to the Evolutionary (Iterative) Design Process. It is sometimes termed rapid prototyping and is similar to rapid application development (RAD).

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