Issue-based information system

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The issue-based information system (IBIS) is an argumentation-based approach to clarifying wicked problems—complex, ill-defined problems that involve multiple stakeholders.[1] Diagrammatic visualization using IBIS notation is often called issue mapping.[2]:ix

IBIS was invented by Werner Kunz and Horst Rittel in the 1960s. According to Kunz and Rittel, "Issue-Based Information Systems (IBIS) are meant to support coordination and planning of political decision processes. IBIS guides the identification, structuring, and settling of issues raised by problem-solving groups, and provides information pertinent to the discourse."[1]

Subsequently, the understanding of planning and design as a process of argumentation (of the designer with himself or with others) has led to the use of IBIS in design rationale,[3][4] where IBIS notation is one of a number of different kinds of rationale notation.[5] The simplicity of IBIS notation, and its focus on questions, makes it especially suited for representing conversations during the early exploratory phase of problem solving, when a problem is relatively ill-defined.[6]:204

The basic structure of IBIS is a graph. It is therefore quite suitable to be manipulated by computer, as in a graph database.[7]

Overview[edit]

The elements of IBIS are: issues (questions that need to be answered), each of which are associated with (answered by) alternative positions (possible answers or ideas), which are associated with arguments which support or object to a given position; arguments that support a position are called "pros", and arguments that object to a position are called "cons".[1][8] In the course of the treatment of issues, new issues come up which are treated likewise.[9][10]

IBIS elements are usually represented as nodes, and the associations between elements are represented as directed edges (arrows).[11]

Issue-based information system (IBIS) rhetorical rules diagram that has three nodes (circles labeled "issue", "position", "argument") connected by directed edges (arrows) that show which nodes are permitted to lead to other nodes in IBIS notation
IBIS as typically used has three basic elements (or kinds of nodes, labeled "issue", "position", "argument") and a limited set of ways that the nodes may be connected.[7]:305 Issues (questions) can be associated with any node. Positions (answers) can be associated only with issues. Arguments can be associated with positions but not with questions.

In 1988, Douglas E. Noble and Horst Rittel described the overall purpose of IBIS as follows:

Issue-Based Information Systems are used as a means of widening the coverage of a problem. By encouraging a greater degree of participation, particularly in the earlier phases of the process, the designer is increasing the opportunity that difficulties of his proposed solution, unseen by him, will be discovered by others. Since the problem observed by a designer can always be treated as merely a symptom of another higher-level problem, the argumentative approach also increases the likelihood that someone will attempt to attack the problem from this point of view. Another desirable characteristic of the Issue-Based Information System is that it helps to make the design process 'transparent'. Transparency here refers to the ability of observers as well as participants to trace back the process of decision-making.[3]

IBIS notation has been used, along with function analysis diagram (FAD) notation, as an aid for root cause analysis.[12][13]

Issue mapping[edit]

IBIS notation is used in issue mapping,[2]:ix an argument visualization technique closely related to argument mapping.[6] An issue map aims to comprehensively diagram the rhetorical structure of a conversation (or a series of conversations) as seen by the participants in the conversation, as opposed to an ideal conceptual structure such as, for example, a causal loop diagram, flowchart, or structure chart.[2]:264

Simple issue-mapping example using issue-based information system (IBIS) notation that forms a directed acyclic graph of 13 IBIS nodes (circles labeled "issue", "position", "argument") and directed edges (arrows)
This graph shows a simple issue-mapping example using IBIS notation with icons. Many other configurations are possible within the restrictions of IBIS rhetorical rules, and issue maps can expand indefinitely.

Dialogue mapping[edit]

Issue mapping is the basis of a meeting facilitation technique called dialogue mapping.[14][15] In dialogue mapping, a person called a facilitator uses IBIS notation to record a group conversation, while it is happening, on a "shared display" (usually a video projector). The facilitator listens to the conversation, and summarizes the ideas mentioned in the conversation on the shared display using IBIS notation, and if possible "validates" the map often by checking with the group to make sure each recorded element accurately represents the group's thinking.[15] Dialogue mapping, like a few other facilitation methods, has been called "nondirective" because it does not require participants or leaders to agree on an agenda or a problem definition.[16] Users of dialogue mapping have reported that dialogue mapping, under certain conditions, can improve the efficiency of meetings by reducing unnecessary redundancy and digressions in conversations, among other benefits.[15][17]

A dialogue map does not aim to be as formal as, for example, a logic diagram or decision tree, but rather aims to be a comprehensive display of all the ideas that people shared during a conversation.[15] Other decision algorithms can be applied to a dialogue map after it has been created,[18] although dialogue mapping is also well suited to situations that are too complex and context-dependent for an algorithmic approach to decision-making.[15] Some researchers and practitioners have combined IBIS with numerical decision-making software based on multi-criteria decision making.[19][20][21][22]

History[edit]

Graphical IBIS in Compendium (software)

Rittel's interest lay in the area of public policy and planning, which is also the context in which he and his colleagues defined wicked problems.[23] So it is no surprise that Kunz and Rittel envisaged IBIS as the "type of information system meant to support the work of cooperatives like governmental or administrative agencies or committees, planning groups, etc., that are confronted with a problem complex in order to arrive at a plan for decision".[1]

When Kunz and Rittel's paper was written, there were three manual, paper-based IBIS-type systems in use—two in government agencies and one in a university.[1]

A renewed interest in IBIS-type systems came about in the following decade, when advances in technology made it possible to design relatively inexpensive, computer-based IBIS-type systems.[3][7][24] In 1987, Douglas E. Noble completed a computer-supported IBIS program as part of his doctoral dissertation.[3] Jeff Conklin and co-workers adapted the IBIS structure for use in software engineering, creating the gIBIS (graphical IBIS) hypertext system in the late 1980s.[7][24] Several other graphical IBIS-type systems were developed once it was realised that such systems facilitated collaborative design and problem solving.[4] These efforts culminated in the creation of the open source Compendium (software) tool which supports—among other things—a graphical IBIS notation.[4][25][26] Another IBIS tool that integrates with Microsoft SharePoint is called Glyma.[2]:290 Similar tools which do not rely on a database for storage include DRed (Design Rationale editor)[27] and designVUE.[28]

Since the mid-2000s, there has been a renewed interest in IBIS-type systems, particularly in the context of sensemaking and collaborative problem solving in a variety of social and technical contexts.[2][29][6][30][31] Of particular note is the facilitation method called dialogue mapping which uses the IBIS notation to map out a design (or any other) dialogue as it evolves.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Kunz, Werner; Rittel, Horst W. J. (July 1970). Issues as elements of information systems (PDF) (Working paper). Berkeley: Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.134.1741. OCLC 5065959. 131. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  2. ^ a b c d e Okada, Alexandra; Buckingham Shum, Simon J.; Sherborne, Tony, eds. (2014) [2008]. Knowledge cartography: software tools and mapping techniques. Advanced information and knowledge processing (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-1-4471-6470-8. ISBN 9781447164692. OCLC 890438015. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  3. ^ a b c d Rittel, Horst W. J.; Noble, Douglas E. (January 1989) [1988]. Issue-based information systems for design (PDF) (Working paper). Berkeley: Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley. OCLC 20155825. 492. Retrieved 2017-05-26. Originally presented to the ACADIA '88 Conference, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, University of Michigan, October 1988.
  4. ^ a b c Buckingham Shum, Simon J.; Selvin, Albert M.; Sierhuis, Maarten; Conklin, E. Jeffrey; Haley, Charles B.; Nuseibeh, Bashar (2006). "Hypermedia support for argumentation-based rationale: 15 years on from gIBIS and QOC" (PDF). In Dutoit, Allen H.; McCall, Raymond; Mistrík, Ivan; Paech, Barbara. Rationale management in software engineering. Berlin; New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 111–132. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-30998-7_5. ISBN 3540309977. OCLC 68629169. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  5. ^ Buckingham Shum, Simon J. (1991). "Cognitive dimensions of design rationale". In Diaper, Dan; Hammond, Nick V. People and computers VI: proceedings of the HCI '91 Conference, 20–23 August 1991. British Computer Society conference series. 3. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 331–344. ISBN 9780521416948. OCLC 24871337. Also available as: Technical Report EPC-91-114, Rank Xerox EuroPARC. CiteSeerx10.1.1.70.5184
  6. ^ a b c Culmsee, Paul; Awati, Kailash (2013) [2011]. "Chapter 7: Visualising reasoning, and Chapter 8: Argumentation-based rationale". The heretic's guide to best practices: the reality of managing complex problems in organisations. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc. pp. 153–211. ISBN 9781462058549. OCLC 767703320.
  7. ^ a b c d Conklin, E. Jeffrey; Begeman, Michael L. (October 1988). "gIBIS: a hypertext tool for exploratory policy discussion" (PDF). ACM Transactions on Information Systems. 6 (4): 303–331. doi:10.1145/58566.59297. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  8. ^ Awati, Kailash (8 July 2009). "The what and whence of issue-based information systems". eight2late.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  9. ^ Awati, Kailash (7 April 2009). "Issues, Ideas and Arguments: a communication-centric approach to tackling project complexity". eight2late.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  10. ^ "The IBIS field guide: exploring complexity" (PDF). cognexus.org. CogNexus Institute. December 2010. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  11. ^ Lien, Magnus (Spring 2016). Contextual search in issue based information systems: towards information discovery in complex discourse graphs (Masters thesis). Oslo, Norway: Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. p. 19. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  12. ^ Aurisicchio, Marco; Bracewell, Rob; Hooey, Becky L. (June 2016). "Rationale mapping and functional modelling enhanced root cause analysis" (PDF). Safety Science. 85: 241–257. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2015.12.022.
  13. ^ Mulenga, Kabwe; Zhao, Xiujie; Xie, Min; Chikamba, Chipili (February 2018). "Investigating the root causes of major failures of critical components—with a case study of asbestos cement pipes". Engineering Failure Analysis. 84: 121–130. doi:10.1016/j.engfailanal.2017.08.024.
  14. ^ a b Conklin, E. Jeffrey (2003). "Dialog mapping: reflections on an industrial strength case study". In Kirschner, Paul Arthur; Buckingham Shum, Simon J.; Carr, Chad S. Visualizing argumentation: software tools for collaborative and educational sense-making. Computer supported cooperative work. London; New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 117–136. doi:10.1007/978-1-4471-0037-9. ISBN 1852336641. OCLC 50676911. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Conklin, E. Jeffrey (2006). Dialogue mapping: building shared understanding of wicked problems. Chichester, UK; Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0470017686. OCLC 60491946. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  16. ^ Zubizarreta, Rosa (2006). "Practical dialogue: emergent approaches for effective collaboration" (PDF). In Schuman, Sandy. Creating a culture of collaboration: the International Association of Facilitators handbook. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp. 257–278. ISBN 0787981168. OCLC 70659897.
  17. ^ "Compendium Community". compendiuminstitute.net. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  18. ^ For example, see section 4.2, "Argument maps as reasoning tools", in: Brun, Georg; Betz, Gregor (2016). "Analysing practical argumentation" (PDF). In Hansson, Sven Ove; Hirsch Hadorn, Gertrude. The argumentative turn in policy analysis: reasoning about uncertainty. Logic, argumentation & reasoning. 10. Cham; New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 39–77. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30549-3_3. ISBN 9783319305479. OCLC 950884495.
  19. ^ Ouerdane, Wassila; Maudet, Nicolas; Tsoukiàs, Alexis (2010). "Argumentation theory and decision aiding". In Ehrgott, Matthias; Figueira, José; Greco, Salvatore. Trends in multiple criteria decision analysis. International series in operations research & management science. 142. New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 177–208. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-5904-1_7. ISBN 9781441959034. OCLC 495781251.
  20. ^ Aldea, Arantza; Bañares-Alcántara, René; Skrzypczak, Simon (September 2012). "Managing information to support the decision making process". Journal of Information & Knowledge Management. 11 (3): 1250016. doi:10.1142/S0219649212500165.
  21. ^ Aurisicchio, Marco; Baroni, Pietro; Pellegrini, Dario; Toni, Francesca (2016). "Comparing and integrating argumentation-based with matrix-based decision support in Arg&Dec". In Black, Elizabeth; Modgil, Sanjay; Oren, Nir. Theory and applications of formal argumentation: third international workshop, TAFA 2015, Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 25–26, 2015, revised selected papers. Lecture notes in computer science. 9524. Cham; New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 1–20. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-28460-6_1. ISBN 9783319284590. OCLC 935213333.
  22. ^ Culmsee, Paul (8 June 2017). "Innovations in decision making on a major infrastructure project: a dialogue mapping case study". medium.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  23. ^ Rittel, Horst W. J.; Webber, Melvin M. (June 1973). "Dilemmas in a general theory of planning" (PDF). Policy Sciences. 4 (2): 155–169. doi:10.1007/BF01405730. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  24. ^ a b Conklin, E. Jeffrey; Begeman, Michael L. (May 1989). "gIBIS: a tool for all reasons". Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 40 (3): 200–213. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(198905)40:3<200::AID-ASI11>3.0.CO;2-U. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  25. ^ Davies, Stephen; Velez-Morales, Javier; King, Roger (August 2005). Building the memex sixty years later: trends and directions in personal knowledge bases (Technical report). Boulder, Colorado: Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder. CU-CS-997-05.
  26. ^ Montibeller, Gilberto; Shaw, Duncan; Westcombe, Mark (May 2006). "Using decision support systems to facilitate the social process of knowledge management". Knowledge Management Research & Practice. 4 (2): 125–137. doi:10.1057/palgrave.kmrp.8500092.
  27. ^ Wallace, Ken; Ahmed, Saeema; Bracewell, Rob (2005). "Engineering knowledge management". In Clarkson, John; Eckert, Claudia. Design process improvement: a review of current practice. London: Springer-Verlag. pp. 326–343. doi:10.1007/978-1-84628-061-0_14. ISBN 185233701X. OCLC 55887578.
  28. ^ Baroni, Pietro; Romano, Marco; Toni, Francesca; Aurisicchio, Marco; Bertanza, Giorgio (2013). "An argumentation-based approach for automatic evaluation of design debates". In Leite, João Alexandre; Son, Tran Cao; Torroni, Paolo; Torre, Leon van der; Woltran, Stefan. Computational logic in multi-agent systems: 14th International Workshop, CLIMA XIV, Coruña, Spain, September 16–18, 2013: proceedings. Lecture notes in artificial intelligence. 8143. Berlin; New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 340–356. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-40624-9_21. ISBN 9783642406232. OCLC 861569813.
  29. ^ Conklin, E. Jeffrey (June 2008). "Growing a global issue base: an issue-based approach to policy deliberation" (PDF). Paper presented to the Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing & Conference on Online Deliberation (DIAC-2008/OD-2008), June 26–29, 2008, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  30. ^ McCrickard, Scott (2012). Making claims: the claim as a knowledge design, capture, and sharing tool in HCI. Synthesis lectures on human-centered informatics. 15. San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool. doi:10.2200/S00423ED1V01Y201205HCI015. ISBN 9781608459056. OCLC 847741769.
  31. ^ Carroll, John M., ed. (2013). Creativity and rationale: enhancing human experience by design. Human–computer interaction series. 20. London; New York: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-1-4471-4111-2. ISBN 9781447141105. OCLC 785082605.