Knowledge Sharing Mechanism (KSM):A Framework for Software Engineering and Command and Control

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Title: Knowledge Sharing Mechanism (KSM):A Framework for Software Engineering and Command and Control
Author: Harvie, David Paul
Advisors: Dr. Thomas L. Honeycutt, Committee Chair
Abstract: The Knowledge Sharing Mechanism (KSM) is a framework to develop solutions to the complex problems faced in both software engineering and command and control. The environments of software engineering and military command and control systems are very similar because they are both instances of complex problem solving. The common nemesis to successfully developing solutions in these environments is change. Our understanding of the problem and the requirements needed to solve the problem as well as the problem environment itself undergo change. The challenge for any complex problem solving methodology is the balance of adapting to multiple changes while keeping focused on the overall desired solution. The KSM is an iterative method for understanding a complex problem, developing a framework for solving that problem, creating, developing, and refining the parts of the solution for the problem, and then reassessing those partial solutions and overall framework until the complete solution has been fully developed. The KSM is based on the integration of Christopher Alexander's unfolding and differentiation processes with the image theory of command and control. In image theory, there are two perspectives in developing a solution. The first is topsight which is an overall general picture of the situation, and the second is insight which is a focused detailed view of a portion of the solution. Use of topsight and insight must be balanced in order to enable the solution's success. Alexander's unfolding process is the basis for understanding the complex interactions of both the software engineering and command and control environments. The KSM uses Alexander's differentiation process to achieve the correct balance of topsight and insight. The KSM also uses the Knowledge Management discipline as another perspective in learning how to solve complex problems. The KSM uses the Knowledge Insight Model (KIM) in which there are four roles or patterns in Knowledge Management: the Framer, the Maker, the Finder, and the Sharer. The Framer is concerned with establishing the overall architecture for solving the problem, the Maker is responsible for developing innovative solutions for the problem, the Finder searches for resources to assist the Maker in developing solutions, and the Sharer is responsible for managing the whole process by ensuring that the Framer, the Finder, and the Maker sharer their knowledge. Of the four roles, the Sharer is the most critical to the success of the solution. This knowledge sharing is the basis for the Knowledge Sharing Mechanism. This paper will then analyze the KSM against evaluation criteria in both software engineering and command and control. The purpose is to demonstrate the validity of KSM as a framework to solving the complex problems in both environments. Finally, the paper will introduce ways that the KSM can be practically implemented in both software engineering and command and control. The KSM is a beneficial framework for an organization to develop software or manage their command and control systems because the KSM has the ability to ably respond to change while keeping the organization focused on achieving its desired goals
Date: 2007-04-17
Degree: MS
Discipline: Computer Science

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