The next generation knowledge networks project follows a number of key directions and assumptions, which guide the research as well as design and implementation of artifacts. Some of these key directions and assumptions are the following:
Knowledge Network Thinking
This project aims to advocate thinking of and working with information in a network fashion. Although it is a natural way to think of and represent complex and distributed information as a network, modern organizations do not employ systems (people, processes, and technology) that allow the composition or navigation of such information networks. The project aims at providing a technological and procedural infrastructure that enables organizations to represent complex multi-paradigm, multi-domain, and multi-dimensional data in network representations.
Compose Rather Than Edit
Instead of thinking of ways how users can enter and edit information, this project aspires to provide means in which new information can be composed out of already existing information pieces in an integrated processes.
Loose Data Integration
Rather than trying to integrate data on the logic or relational layers (Halevy, 2005), this project aspires to couple data very loosely, driven by semantic linkages to allow context-driven integration.
Fine Grained Ownership
The project aspires by the means of information networks, to provide organizations with mechanisms to monitor and control ownership of information shared with other organizations in fine granularity. The information should be embedded in fine grained and flexible ownership concepts. Information can physically and conceptually belong in the ownership of individual organizations, or by choice, certain parts can be shared and opened up for cross-organizational collaboration.
Discrete Value Allocation
Often it is difficult for organizations to understand the monetary and strategic value of distributed and interrelated pieces of information. The project aims at providing technological and procedural mechanisms that enable organisations to have a clearer overview of their information assets by attributing the networks with discrete monetary and non-monetary value allocations.
Many tools for knowledge management are designed for a particular domain. Our project is based on the understanding that any approach to capture knowledge in a specific domain leads to knowledge being detached from its context as even knowledge of a particular domain is contextualized with knowledge from an unpredictable set of other domains.
Many knowledge management initiatives do not account for the context dependent nature of complex information and knowledge (Thompson and Walsham, 2004). The focus of the project is to provide information with a rich context comprised of interrelated concepts and information pieces.
The project aims at seamlessly integrating into the way individuals would naturally conduct their work. Therefore, a strong focus is set on making the collaboration facilities compatible, integrated, and non-invasive with the business processes in today’s businesses (Raghu & Vinze, 2005).
Parts of these directions and assumptions are discussed in An Integrated Collaboration Platform for Sustainable Development: Project Proposal and Initial Exploration