Sunday, 17 June 2012

“Dynamic Knowledge Mapping: A Visualization Approach for Knowledge Management Systems”

T. Heide and L. Lis (2012). “Dynamic Knowledge Mapping: A Visualization Approach for Knowledge Management Systems”. In: 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sci- ence (HICSS). Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society, pp. 4001–4010

Abstract

Visualizing the contents of knowledge management systems allows for better com- prehensibility of the knowledge base, gives a condensed overview, and provides entry points to particular knowledge items. In this context, two different visualization approaches have been proposed in the literature. On the one hand, algorithm-based approaches have been introduced, which are capable of automated generation of reproducible visualizations. On the other hand, visualizations such as knowledge maps have to be created individually by domain experts. In this paper, we propose a combined approach of dynamic knowledge mapping, which is based on a manual creation of the underlying context (e.g., the metaphor) of the visualization. The particular knowledge items, however, are mapped onto this background automatically in response to changes in the knowledge base. Thus, our approach benefits from the use of a challenging graphical context while allowing for an automated generation of visualizations.

Review

Heide and Lis, 2012: “Dynamic Knowledge Mapping: A Visualization Approach for Knowledge Management Systems” sounded to me like a very interesting paper. Unfortunately I had to realize, that it is by far not as interesting as expected. The general idea is good, but what the authors came up with can only be seen as a very first step. Relying on an image of the knowledge map that cannot be edited through the tool that is used to enrich the knowledge map with dynamically updated information is not more than a fairly simple proof of concept. The example they refer to, Hybride Wertschöpfung 3.0, http://forschungslandkarte-hybridewertschoepfung.de/en/show/KnowledgeMapHW, shows that they did not put much effort into user experience, interface design and usability. In my opinion key aspects of visualization.

I was keen on getting to know more about yourResearchPortal.com, the solution they extended with their tool. They mention in the paper that it is based on Drupal - Open Source CMS, but I failed to find any detailed background information about this solution. As the paper is no theoretical exploration, but features a basic and working implementation based on an open source solution, I hoped to find the source code, some documentation and a demo site online. But I could not find anything.

To end this comment with a positive note, now something not directly linked to the paper. If you think knowledge maps are an interesting topic, I would recommend you to take a look at the iMapping tool (iMapping — zoomable big maps for personal knowledge management). This tool is based on the doctoral thesis Haller, 2011: “User Interfaces for Personal Knowledge Management with Semantic Technologies” where you can find detailed information about the concepts implemented by this tool.

I like the idea and tested the iMapping tool some time ago. Back then it was already a powerful program with a promising approach to improve personal knowledge management.

References

Heide and Lis, 2012: “Dynamic Knowledge Mapping: A Visualization Approach for Knowledge Management Systems”
Heide, T. and L. Lis (2012). “Dynamic Knowledge Mapping: A Visualization Approach for Knowledge Management Systems”. In: 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Science (HICSS). Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society, pp. 4001–4010.
Hybride Wertschöpfung 3.0,
http://forschungslandkarte-hybridewertschoepfung.de/en/show/KnowledgeMapHW
European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) (2010). Hybride Wertschöpfung 3.0. url: http://forschungslandkarte-hybridewertschoepfung.de/en/show/KnowledgeMapHW (visited on 06/04/2012).
yourResearchPortal.com
Becker, Prof. Dr. Jörg (2011). yourResearchPortal.com.
url: http://www.yourResearchPortal.com/ (visited on 06/03/2012).
Drupal - Open Source CMS
Buytaert, Dries and Drupal contributors (2012). Drupal - Open Source CMS.
url: http://drupal.org (visited on 06/04/2012).
iMapping — zoomable big maps for personal knowledge management
Florian Simon und Henning Sperr Gbr. iMapping — zoomable big maps for personal knowledge management. url: http://imapping.info/ (visited on 06/03/2012).
Haller, 2011: “User Interfaces for Personal Knowledge Management with Semantic Technologies”
Haller, Heiko (2011). “User Interfaces for Personal Knowledge Management with Semantic Technologies”. PhD thesis. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
url: http://digbib.ubka.uni-karlsruhe.de/volltexte/1000024007.

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