Knowledge sharing and negotiation support in multiperson decision support systems
A number of DSS for supporting decisions by more than one person have been proposed. These can be categorized by spatial distance (local vs. remote), temporal distance (meeting vs. mailing), commonality of goals (cooperation vs. bargaining), and control (democratic vs. hierarchical). Existing frameworks for model management in single-user DSS seem insufficient for such systems. This paper views multiperson DSS as a loosely coupled system of model and data bases which may be human (the DSS builders and users) or computerized. The system’s components have different knowledge bases and may have different interests. Their interaction is characterized by knowledge sharing for uncertainty reduction and cooperative problem-solving, and negotiation for view integration, consensus-seeking, and compromise. Requirements for the different types of multiperson DSS can be formalized as application-level communications protocols. Based on a literature review and recent experience with a number of multiperson DSS prototypes, artificial intelligence-based message-passing protocols are compared with database-centered approaches and model-based techniques, such as multicriteria decision making.