Knowledge is recognised as a firm's most valuable asset. Understanding how to identify, collect, classify and process the knowledge within and between organisations is big business today, primarily for the consulting companies employed by major corporations seeking to capitalise on this most valuable asset. Major hurdles face those organisations embarking on a knowledge management programme. For example, encouraging employees to "part" with their knowledge; effectively using the acquired knowledge to improve aspects of the organisational processes; measuring and managing the impact of knowledge management. By integrating leading edge and innovative knowledge engineering techniques to support knowledge management, RIMSAT will provide a novel way of using the acquired knowledge to improve organisational procedures. To overcome the first hurdle, the RIMSAT system will be validated in a safety-critical environment where the sharing of knowledge is not only vital but is considered the norm. The third hurdle mentioned will be addressed by the inclusion of a process to measure the impact of knowledge management on the effectiveness of the decisions taken by an organisation in dealing with safety-critical situations.
RIMSAT objectives are:
- to develop an innovative, "learning" knowledge-based decision support system aimed at organisations involved in highly complex, safety and/or mission critical activities and events, irrespective of their location;
- to elicit both tacit and explicit knowledge, information and data from a variety of formal and informal sources to provide a best practice, dynamic advice and guidance system available at any fixed or mobile location that has access to any terminal with wired or wireless communication capability;
- to ensure that the system will continually "learn" from previous experiences, enabling the advice & guidance it determines to represent the best practice available at that specific moment in time;
- to prove the concept of the system through real-world trials in a highly complex, safety-critical environment;
- to use the system as the basis for collaborative distance learning/training through customisable event/incident simulation.
Enabling existing skills to be improved and new skills to be acquired without the need to remove personnel from their centre of operations for extended periods of time.
The RIMSAT approach will be to capture, synthesise and model existing tacit and explicit knowledge, information and know-how coming from various distributed and diverse sources - human, textual and digitised.
To complete it with simulation / modelling / case experiences (CBR/MBR).
To make it rapidly available to support decisions at the location or locations where it is needed.
The methodological approach will be to merge the KM aspects into the INRECA methodology (developed in Esprit project 22196) for building industrial knowledge-based applications. The result will be a specific "recipe" for managing and maintaining the system, that will cover the whole life cycle of the RIMSAT system (knowledge elicitation, knowledge bases creation, exploitation, deployment, reuse).
The backbone of the planned system will be a "knowledge server" co-ordinating a set of integrated knowledge/information resources, using knowledge-based systems technology (CBR/MBR).
These distributed information resources will include:
a distributed base of continually updated, incident-related data (synthesised explicit knowledge and information);
decision support based on applied artificial intelligence (CBR/MBR), database queries, simulation modelling and optimisation, on-line communication with remote experts;
classical data bases, such as hazardous substances, environmental and health standards, regulations, and technical guidelines, stored in multimedia formats;
access to the procedural documents of the public safety using the system;
links to on-line information resources ranging from meteorological or hydrological monitoring stations to other incident control centres and human experts.
Distributed servers will be maintained by individual user organisations as if they were their own central database servers. New incident information will be automatically cross-checked across all the other incident databases to ascertain if identical or similar information already exists, enabling multiple-cases of similar incidents to be linked together.
RIMSAT will result in a best practice, dynamic Decision Support System that can be used at both a mobile and fixed RIMSAT will result in a best practice, dynamic Decision Support System that can be used at both a mobile and fixed locations. It will enable collaborative simulated incident management training to be undertaken in remote locations, as well as the evaluation of performance in past emergency events that will be used as input system.
- a global model for identifying, collecting and managing knowledge;
- the proven ability of reasoning engines to adapt to the KM global model;
- the tested generic RIMSAT system;
- the tested application specific RIMSAT system.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
SK3 0XG Stockport
CF11 9JZ Cardiff, South Glamorgan
B4 7DE Birmingham