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ACM Transactions on Information Systems 12

Editors:Robert B. Allen
Standard No:ISSN 1046-8188; HF S548.125 A33
Links:Table of Contents
  1. TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 1
  2. TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 2
  3. TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 3
  4. TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 4

TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 1

Editorial BIB 1
  Robert B. Allen
Charter BIB 3
Evaluating Hypermedia and Learning: Methods and Results from the Perseus Project BIBAKPDF 5-34
  Gary Marchionini; Gregory Crane
The Perseus Project has developed a hypermedia corpus of materials related to the ancient Greek world. The materials include a variety of texts and images, and tools for using these materials and navigating the system. Results from a three-year evaluation of Perseus use in a variety of college settings are described. The evaluation assessed both this particular system and the application of the technological genre to information management and to learning. The evaluation used a variety of methods to address questions about learning and teaching with hypermedia and to guide the development of early versions of the system. Results illustrate that such environments offer potential for accelerating learning and for supporting new types of learning and teaching; that students and instructors must develop new strategies for learning and teaching with such technology; and that institutions must develop infrastructural support for such technology. The results also illustrate the importance of well-designed interfaces and different types of assignments on user performance.
Keywords: Computer applications, Arts and humanities, Literature, Computer applications, Arts and humanities, Language translation, Computing milieux, Computers and education, Information systems, User/machine systems, Human information processing, Design, Performance, Hypermedia, Evaluation, Learning, Teaching, Human-computer interaction
A Nested-Graph Model for the Representation and Manipulation of Complex Objects BIBAKPDF 35-68
  Alexandra Poulovassilis; Mark Levene
Three recent trends in database research are object-oriented and deductive databases and graph-based user interfaces. We draw these trends together in a data model we call the Hypernode Model. The single data structure of this model is the hypernode, a graph whose nodes can themselves be graphs. Hypernodes are typed, and types, too, are nested graphs. We give the theoretical foundations of hypernodes and types, and we show that type checking is tractable. We show also how conventional type-forming operators can be simulated by our graph types, including cyclic types. The Hypernode Model comes equipped with a rule-based query language called Hyperlog, which is complete with respect to computation and update. We define the operational semantics of Hyperlog and show that the evaluation of Hyperlog programs is intractable in the general case -- we identify cases when evaluation can be performed efficiently. We discuss also the use of Hyperlog for supporting database browsing, an essential feature of Hypertext databases. We compare our work with other graph-based data models -- unlike previous graph-based models, the Hypernode Model provides inherent support for data abstraction via its nesting of graphs. Finally, we briefly discuss the implementation of a DBMS based on the Hypernode Model.
Keywords: Data, Data structures, Graphs, Database management, Logical design, Data models, Database management, Languages, Query languages, Design, Languages, Complex object, Nested graph, Object store, Rule-based query and update language, Types
On the Expressive Power of Query Languages BIBAKPDF 69-91
  Peter Schauble; Beat Wuthrich
Two main topics are addressed. First, an algebraic approach is presented to define a general notion of expressive power. Heterogeneous algebras represent information systems and morphisms represent the correspondences between the instances of databases, the correspondences between answers, and the correspondences between queries. An important feature of this new notion of expressive power is that query languages of different types can be compared with respect to their expressive power. In the case of relational query languages, the new notion of expressive power is shown to be equivalent to the notion used by Chandra and Harel. In the case of nonrelational query languages, the versatility of the new notion of expressive power is demonstrated by comparing the fixpoint query languages with an object-oriented query language called FQL*. The expressive power of the Functional Query Language FQL* is the second main topic of this paper. The specifications of FQL* functions can be recursive or even mutually recursive. FQL* has a fixpoint semantics based on a complete lattice consisting of bag functions. The query language FQL* is shown to be more expressive than the fixpoint query languages. This result implies that FQL* is also more expressive than Datalog with stratified negation. Examples of recursive FQL* functions are given that determine the ancestors of persons and the bill of materials.
Keywords: Programming languages, Language constructs and features, Abstract data types, Recursion, Computation by abstract devices, Models of computation, Relations among models, Database management, Languages, Query languages, Artificial intelligence, Deduction and theorem proving, Mathematical induction, Languages, Theory, Datalog, Expressive power of query languages, Fixpoint query languages, Functional query languages, Relational query languages
Probabilistic Information Retrieval as a Combination of Abstraction, Inductive Learning, and Probabilistic Assumptions BIBAKPDF 92-115
  Norbert Fuhr; Ulrich Pfeifer
We show that former approaches in probabilistic information retrieval are based on one or two of the three concepts abstraction, inductive learning, and probabilistic assumptions, and we propose a new approach which combines all three concepts. This approach is illustrated for the case of indexing with a controlled vocabulary. For this purpose, we describe a new probabilistic model first, which is then combined with logistic regression, thus yielding a generalization of the original model. Experimental results for the pure theoretical model as well as for heuristic variants are given. Furthermore, linear and logistic regression are compared.
Keywords: Numerical analysis, Approximation, Least squares approximation, Nonlinear approximation, Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Indexing methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Retrieval models, Artificial intelligence, Learning, Parameter learning, Experimentation, Theory, Controlled vocabulary, Logistic regression, Probabilistic indexing, Probabilistic retrieval

TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 2

Special Issue on Social Science Perspectives on IS

Introduction to the Special Issue on Social Science Perspectives on IS BIB 117-118
  Rob Kling
Finding a Happy Medium: Explaining the Negative Effects of Electronic Communication on Social Life at Work BIBAKPDF 119-149
  M. L. Markus
The sometimes observed negative social effects of electronic communication technology are often attributed to the characteristics of the technology itself. Electronic mail, for instance, filters out personal and social cues and provides new capabilities not found in traditional media, and it has been argued that these factors have consequences such as "flaming' and depersonalization. Alternative theoretical perspectives on the impacts of information technology suggest that our ability to explain these outcomes might be enhanced by attending to users' intentional choices about how to use technology and to the unpredictable technology usage patterns that emerge when users interact with the technology and each other. These alternative perspectives are examined in the context of an exploratory case study of a complex organization in which electronic mail was heavily used.
   Users were found to select email deliberately when they wished to avoid unwanted social interactions. At the same time, they actively took steps to avoid negative outcomes, such as depersonalization of their relationships with subordinates. However, despite their well-intentioned efforts, some negative social effects did occur that cannot entirely be attributed to the technological characteristics of electronic communication. Instead, they appear to be ironic side effects of users' thoughtful efforts to use email effectively. These results suggest the value of according a prominent role in explanations of technology impacts to users' intended and unintended technology uses. The results also imply that negative social effects from using electronic communication technology may not prove easy to eradicate, despite technological developments such as multimedia integration, and despite efforts to train users in the best email "etiquette."
Keywords: Information systems applications, Communications applications, Electronic mail, Computers and society, Organizational impacts, Design, Human factors, Management, Theory, Connectedness, Depersonalization, Electronic mail, Etiquette, Social distance, Politics
Information Systems Strategy and Implementation: A Case Study of a Building Society BIBAKPDF 150-173
  G. Walsham; T. Waema
The formation and implementation of strategy with respect to computer-based information systems (IS) are important issues in many contemporary organizations, including those in the financial services sector. This paper describes and analyzes an in-depth case study of the strategy formation and implementation process in one such organization, a medium-sized UK building society, and relates the process to its organizational and broader contexts; the organization is examined over a period of several years and under the contrasting leadership of two different chief executives. The case study is used to develop some general implications on IS strategy and implementation, which can be taken as themes for debate in any new situation. The paper provides an example of a more detailed perspective on processes in IS strategy and implementation than typically available in the literature. In addition, a new framework for further research in this area is developed, which directs the researcher toward exploring the dynamic interplay of strategic content, multilevel contexts, and cultural and political perspectives on the process of change.
Keywords: Management of computing and information systems, Project and people management, Systems analysis and design, Systems development, Training, Human factors, Management, Change process, Culture, Implementation, Multilevel context, Politics, Strategy
Technological Frames: Making Sense of Information Technology in Organizations BIBAKPDF 174-207
  Wanda J. Orlikowski; Debra C. Gash
In this article, we build on and extend research into the cognitions and values of users and designers by proposing a systematic approach for examining the underlying assumptions, expectations, and knowledge that people have about technology. Such interpretations of technology (which we call technological frames) are central to understanding technological development, use, and change in organizations. We suggest that where the technological frames of key groups in organizations -- such as managers, technologists, and users -- are significantly different, difficulties and conflict around the development, use, and change of technology may result. We use the findings of an empirical study to illustrate how the nature, value, and use of a groupware technology were interpreted by various organizational stakeholders, resulting in outcomes that deviated from those expected. We argue that technological frames offer an interesting and useful analytic perspective for explaining and anticipating actions and meanings that are not easily obtained with other theoretical lenses.
Keywords: Computers and society, Organizational impacts, Human factors, Management, Managing expectations, Social cognitions, Technological frames, Technological implementation, Technology use
Rich and Lean Representations of Information for Knowledge Work: The Role of Computing Packages in the Work of Classical Scholars BIBAKPDF 208-230
  Karen Ruhleder
Applying information systems to complex intellectual tasks requires the representation and codification of ambiguous and fragmentary forms of data. This application effects changes not only in representation of this data, but in the relationships between users and tools, techniques, or systems for data interpretation. It also affects the complex infrastructures that support this process. This article uses a package metaphor to examine the impact on one domain of knowledge work, classical scholarship, of the "computerization" of a key data source, the textual edition. The construction of one on-line textual databank, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG), has altered the traditional relationships between text "owners" and "users," has changed the role of the text as a conduit for social and historical information, and has disrupted traditional patterns of transmitting domain expertise. A rich information resource has become lean in its electronic form.
   The TLG has standardized the corpus of Greek literature and eased access to a broad range of works, including rare and out-of-print materials. At the same time, its construction has decoupled often-contested textual sources from their accompanying critical notes and supplemental materials. The use of the TLG has also shifted notions of objectivity, accuracy, and requisite expertise within the community. The transmission of domain knowledge must now be coupled with the transmission of technical knowledge, a process for which no infrastructure is currently in place. These experiences parallel those of other knowledge workers. "Mechanistic" paradigms of information and knowledge cannot accommodate important components of computing packages, including the transmission of expertise and infrastructures for tool development and evaluation. Recent developments in information storage and dissemination, including gophers and ftp sites, may indicate that despite technical advances that could be used to support rich representations (such as hypermedia and multimedia), leaner forms of data may prevail.
Keywords: Models and principles, Systems and information theory, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Information storage and retrieval, Online information services, Computers and education, Miscellaneous, Computers and society, Organizational impacts, Computing milieux, Management of computing and information systems, Human factors, Management, Computerization of knowledge work, Computing packages, Decontextualization of information, Information representations, Locus of expertise

TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 3

Special Issue on Text Categorization

Guest Editorial BIB 231
  David D. Lewis; Philip J. Hayes
Automated Learning of Decision Rules for Text Categorization BIBAKPDF 233-251
  Chidanand Apte; Fred Damerau; Sholom M. Weiss
We describe the results of extensive experiments using optimized rule-based induction methods on large document collections. The goal of these methods is to discover automatically classification patterns that can be used for general document categorization or personalized filtering of free text. Previous reports indicate that human-engineered rule-based systems, requiring many man-years of developmental efforts, have been successfully built to "read" documents and assign topics to them. We show that machine-generated decision rules appear comparable to human performance, while using the identical rule-based representation. In comparison with other machine-learning techniques, results on a key benchmark from the Reuters collection show a large gain in performance, from a previously reported 67% recall/precision breakeven point to 80.5%. In the context of a very high-dimensional feature space, several methodological alternatives are examined, including universal versus local dictionaries, and binary versus frequency-related features.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Indexing methods, Artificial intelligence, Applications and expert systems, Artificial intelligence, Knowledge representation formalisms and methods, Representations (procedural and rule-based), Artificial intelligence, Learning, Induction, Experimentation, Measurement, Performance
An Example-Based Mapping Method for Text Categorization and Retrieval BIBAKPDF 252-277
  Yiming Yang; Christopher G. Chute
A unified model for text categorization and text retrieval is introduced. We use a training set of manually categorized documents to learn word-category associations, and use these associations to predict the categories of arbitrary documents. Similarly, we use a training set of queries and their related documents to obtain empirical associations between query words and indexing terms of documents, and use these associations to predict the related documents of arbitrary queries. A Linear Least Squares Fit (LLSF) technique is employed to estimate the likelihood of these associations. Document collections from the MEDLINE database and Mayo patient records are used for studies on the effectiveness of our approach, and on how much the effectiveness depends on the choices of training data, indexing language, word-weighting scheme, and morphological canonicalization. Alternative methods are also tested on these data collections for comparison. It is evident that the LLSF approach uses the relevance information effectively within human decisions of categorization and retrieval, and achieves a semantic mapping of free texts to their representations in an indexing language. Such a semantic mapping leads to a significant improvement in categorization and retrieval, compared to alternative approaches.
Keywords: Numerical analysis, Approximation, Least squares approximation, Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Indexing methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Retrieval models, Artificial intelligence, Learning, Parameter learning, Experimentation, Theory, Document categorization, Query categorization, Statistical learning of human decisions
Text Categorization for Multiple Users Based on Semantic Features from a Machine-Readable Dictionary BIBAKPDF 278-295
  Elizabeth D. Liddy; Woojin Paik; Edmund S. Yu
The text categorization module described here provides a front-end filtering function for the larger DR-LINK text retrieval system [Liddy and Myaeng 1993]. The module evaluates a large incoming stream of documents to determine which documents are sufficiently similar to a profile at the broad subject level to warrant more refined representation and matching. To accomplish this task, each substantive word in a text is first categorized using a feature set based on the semantic Subject Field Codes (SFCs) assigned to individual word senses in a machine-readable dictionary. When tested on 50 user profiles and 550 megabytes of documents, results indicate that the feature set that is the basis of the text categorization module and the algorithm that establishes the boundary of categories of potentially relevant documents accomplish their tasks with a high level of performance.
   This means that the category of potentially relevant documents for most profiles would contain at least 80% of all documents later determined to be relevant to the profile. The number of documents in this set would be uniquely determined by the system's category-boundary predictor, and this set is likely to contain less than 5% of the incoming stream of documents.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Abstracting methods, Indexing methods, Linguistic methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Clustering, Search process, Selection process, Artificial intelligence, Natural language processing, Text analysis, Text processing, Index generation, Experimentation, Theory, Semantic vectors, Subject field coding
Information Extraction as a Basis for High-Precision Text Classification BIBAKPDF 296-333
  Ellen Riloff; Wendy Lehnert
We describe an approach to text classification that represents a compromise between traditional word-based techniques and in-depth natural language processing. Our approach uses a natural language processing task called "information extraction" as a basis for high-precision text classification. We present three algorithms that use varying amounts of extracted information to classify texts. The relevancy signatures algorithm uses linguistic phrases; the augmented relevancy signatures algorithm uses phrases and local context; and the case-based text classification algorithm uses larger pieces of context. Relevant phrases and contexts are acquired automatically using a training corpus. We evaluate the algorithms on the basis of two test sets from the MUC-4 corpus. All three algorithms achieved high precision on both test sets, with the augmented relevancy signatures algorithm and the case-based algorithm reaching 100% precision with over 60% recall on one set. Additionally, we compare the algorithms on a larger collection of 1700 texts and describe an automated method for empirically deriving appropriate threshold values. The results suggest that information extraction techniques can support high-precision text classification and, in general, that using more extracted information improves performance. As a practical matter, we also explain how the text classification system can be easily ported across domains.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Artificial intelligence, Natural language processing, Algorithms, Experimentation, Performance, Information extraction, Text classification

TOIS 1994 Volume 12 Issue 4

DIRECT: A Query Facility for Multiple Databases BIBAKPDF 339-359
  Ulla Merz; Roger King
The subject of this research project is the architecture and design of a multidatabase query facility. These databases contain structured data, typical for business applications. Problems addressed are: presenting a uniform interface for retrieving data from multiple databases, providing autonomy for the component databases, and defining an architecture for semantic services.
   DIRECT is a query facility for heterogeneous databases. The databases and their definitions can differ in their data models, names, types, and encoded values. Instead of creating a global schema, descriptions of different databases are allowed to coexist. A multidatabase query language provides a uniform interface for retrieving data from different databases. DIRECT has been exercised with operational databases that are part of an automated business system.
Keywords: Database management, Languages, Database management, Database administration, Languages, Management, Data models, Design, Heterogeneous databases, Query languages
A Speech-Act-Based Negotiation Protocol: Design, Implementation, and Test Use BIBAKPDF 360-382
  Man Kit Chang; Carson C. Woo
Existing negotiation protocols used in Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI) systems rarely take into account the results from negotiation research. We propose a negotiation protocol, SANP (Speech-Act-based Negotiation Protocol), which is based on Ballmer and Brennenstuhl's speech act classification and on negotiation analysis literature. The protocol is implemented as a domain-independent system using Strudel, which is an electronic mail toolkit. A small study tested the potential use of the protocol. Although a number of limitations were found in the study, the protocol appears to have potential in domains without these limitations, and it can serve as a building block to design more general negotiation protocols.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Network protocols, Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed applications, Information systems applications, Office automation, Information systems applications, Communication applications, Electronic mail, Artificial intelligence, Applications and expert systems, Office automation, Artificial intelligence, Distributed artificial intelligence, Languages and structures, Design, Experimentation, Negotiation, Organizational computing systems, Speech act theory
An Exploratory Evaluation of Three Interfaces for Browsing Large Hierarchical Tables of Contents BIBAKPDF 383-406
  Richard Chimera; Ben Shneiderman
Three different interfaces were used to browse a large (1296 items) table of contents. A fully expanded stable interface, expand/contract interface, and multipane interface were studied in a between-groups experiment with 41 novice participants. Nine timed fact retrieval tasks were performed; each task is analyzed and discussed separately. We found that both the expand/contract and multipane interfaces produced significantly faster times than the stable interface for many tasks using this large hierarchy; other advantages of the expand/contract and multipane interfaces over the stable interface are discussed. The animation characteristics of the expand/contract interface appear to play a major role. Refinements to the multipane and expand/contract interfaces are suggested. A predictive model for measuring navigation effort of each interface is presented.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Evaluation/methodology, Screen design, Documentation, Experimentation, Human factors, Browsing, Hierarchies, Table of contents, User interfaces
Preference-Based Decision Making for Cooperative Knowledge-Based Systems BIBAKPDF 407-435
  Stephen T. C. Wong
Recent advances in cooperative knowledge-based systems (CKBS) offer significant promise for intelligent interaction between multiple AI systems for solving larger, more complex problems. In this paper, we propose a logical, qualitative problem-solving scheme for CKBS that uses social choice theory as a formal basis for making joint decisions and promoting conflict resolution. This scheme consists of three steps: (1) the selection of decision criteria and competing alternatives, (2) the formation of preference profiles and collective choices, and (3) the negotiation among agents as conflicts arise in group decision making. In this paper, we focus on the computational mechanisms developed to support steps (2) and (3) of the scheme. In addition, the practicality of the scheme is illustrated with examples taken from a working prototype dealing with collaborative structural design of buildings.
Keywords: Information systems, Types of systems, Decision support, Artificial intelligence, Problem solving, Control methods, and search, Heuristic methods, Artificial intelligence, Distributed artificial intelligence, Coherence and coordination, Design, Human factors, Theory, Cooperative problem solving, Cooperative knowledge-based systems, Decision making, Social choice theory