Picture of UK Houses of Parliament

Leading national thinking on politics, government & public policy through Open Access research

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the School of Government & Public Policy, based within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Research here is 1st in Scotland for research intensity and spans a wide range of domains. The Department of Politics demonstrates expertise in understanding parties, elections and public opinion, with additional emphases on political economy, institutions and international relations. This international angle is reflected in the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) which conducts comparative research on public policy. Meanwhile, the Centre for Energy Policy provides independent expertise on energy, working across multidisciplinary groups to shape policy for a low carbon economy.

Explore the Open Access research of the School of Government & Public Policy. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

The tunnel of Doctus KBS : the deeper you get the darker it is

Baracskai, Zoltán and Velencei, Jolán and Dörfler, Viktor and Szendrey, Jaszmina (2014) The tunnel of Doctus KBS : the deeper you get the darker it is. In: 2nd Internatinal OFEL Conference on Corporate Governance, 2014-04-04 - 2014-04-05.

[img] Text (BaracskaiVelenceiDorflerSzendrey2014)
BaracskaiVelenceiDorflerSzendrey2014.pdf
Final Published Version

Download (408kB)

    Abstract

    When you are on your way inwards to a tunnel, it is getting darker and darker. You reach the darkest point when you are in the deepest. Then, as you start your way out, there is gradually more and more light. Over the last quarter century we were getting deeper and deeper in. It seems that it is starting to get lighter now. As academics and consultants we have been working for, with and on top-level business decision takers involved in loosely structured decision problems. Gradually we have achieved better and better understanding of the models of thinking that can be useful for these decision takers. First we realized that the model of thinking needs to be simple; which is the philosophical commonplace of Occam’s razor. Somewhat later we realized that it is easy to cut our-selves if Occam’s razor is too sharp – the model of thinking must not be too simple as it will fail to provide a usable representation of reality. This is also known from philosophy as Einstein’s extension of Occam’s rule: as simple as possible but not simpler than that. Along these lines we have developed the Doctus knowledge-based system shell, for building our models. This way we started building the bridge of trans-disciplinarity between the knowledge do-mains of various experts. However, this bridge is narrow and difficult to use for crossing the disciplinary divides. Decision takers cannot walk the bridge alone; they need a bridge-guide called the knowledge engineer. The knowledge engineer is not a polymath (expert in multiple domains); the knowledge engineer’s expertise is about knowledge and knowers. More recently we have realized that it is not sufficient if the model is useful, it also has to be usable. The bridge should be wide, stable and easy to walk. Of course, it is still nice to have the knowledge engineer to guide the decision taker – it provides a fuller experience. What makes for such bridge? Today we think that we need to apply Occam’s razor tempered by Einstein on the user interface the same way as we have previously used it for representing knowledge. The new Doctus is beautiful and as simpler as it can be – but not simpler than that.