CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Yair Levy


Knowledge management has emerged as a field of endeavor that blends a systems approach with methods drawn from organizational management and learning. In contrast, knowledge representation, a branch of artificial intelligence, is grounded in formal methods. Research in the separate behavioral and the structural disciplines – knowledge management and knowledge engineering - has not traditionally cross-pollinated. This has prevented the development of many practical practices useful in organizations. Organization managers - line and senior - lack guidance in where to direct improvement efforts targeted at specific groups of company knowledge workers. Demonstrated here is Knowledge Improvement Measurement Space (KIMS), a model providing a solution to that improvement problem. It employs marginal utility theory in a metric space, with formal reasoning via software agents realized in Sowa's conceptual graphs, operating over a knowledge management conceptual structure. These components allow repeated evaluation of knowledge improvement measurements. Knowledge representation technology was applied to organize and encourage knowledge sharing, to achieve competitive advantage, and to measure progress toward that achievement. The KlMS reentrant process, a method of using the KIMS model, was shown to consist of metrics data calculated by executing joined conceptual graphs, consolidated into a distance variable to be estimated via a Minkowski metrics space. The metric space was shown to be equivalent to a marginal utility, which may be evaluated to determine the new level of knowledge capability. The procedure may be repeated until knowledge management goals are achieved. The solution took into account the body of knowledge related human understanding and learning, and formal methods of knowledge organization.

These were shown to include surface ontologies based in a knowledge management program, principles of business strategy, and organizational learning. KIMS was validated through a demonstration based on empirical data collected over a five-year program in a large aerospace company during its progress in applying the Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model


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