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Organization-level information systems: Tools for supporting the development process
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

All organizations have an information system. An information system is all that which contribute to the distribution within an organization, and without the information system, the organization would not survive. Despite this, work with changing or constructing information systems often end up with suboptimal results. In recent scientific articles, and within profession-specific newspapers, the figures on how many such project end up as failures range between 70 and 80 percent. One source of problems with information systems work is deficiencies of the governance of the change processes. Further, many methods applied to information systems work are in fact software systems method and may thus be suspected to miss important aspects of the information system. In this thesis I have studied approaches for supporting the information systems development process. These approaches have all included trying to find aspects of the information system and trying to measure, simulate or in other ways asses them in order to get an overview of where effort has to be added in the development process.The results of the thesis include recommendations surrounding the simulations of such aspects, as well as a model where the aspects have been formulated into criteria for information system evaluation. The CISE model (Criteria for Information Systems Evaluation) is the main product, and it is available to useas a checklist during information systems work.

Abstract [sv]

Alla organisationer har ett informationssystem. Ett informationsystem är allt det som inom en organisation bidrar till att sprida information, och utaninformationssystemet skull organisationen inte överleva. Trots detta resulterar arbete med att ändra och bygga informationssystem ofta i resultat som är sämre än önskvärda. I senare vetenskapliga artiklar, och inom den professionella pressen, nämns ofta siffror kring 70-80 procent i samband med hur ofta dessa projekt misslyckas.En källa till problem med informationssystemsarbete är brister i styrningen av förändringsprocesserna. Vidare, många metoder som används för informationssystemsarbete är egentligen metoder avsedda för mjukvaruutveckling, och som därmed kan misstänkas missa viktiga aspekter när de tillämpas på informationssystem. I den här avhandlingen har jag studerat angreppssätt för att stödja informationssystemsutvecklingsprocessen. Dessa angreppssätt satsar alla påatt hitta aspekter av informationsystem, och att försöka mäta, simulera eller i andra former uppskatta aspekterna för att få en översikt över var mer kraft behövs i utvecklingsprocessen. Resultaten av avhandlingen inkluderar rekommendationer kring simulering av sådana aspekter, samt en model där aspekterna formulerats som kriterierför utvärdering av informationssystem. CISE-modellen (Criteria for InformationSystems Evaluation) är den främsta produkten av avhandlingen, och den gåratt använda som en checklista under informationssystemsarbete.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
östersund: Mid Sweden Univ , 2010. , p. 71
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 94
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12112ISBN: 978-91-86073-93-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-12112DiVA, id: diva2:356496
Available from: 2010-10-12 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A base for simulating information distribution
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A base for simulating information distribution
2002 (English)In: Systems Theory and Practice in the Knowledge Age: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference of the UK systems Society on Systems Theory and Practice in the Knowledge Age, held July 7-10, 2002 in York, United Kingdom, New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum , 2002, p. 449-456Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A common problem with implementation of new communications hardware is that it is difficult to predict their effects on the information flow in an organisation. This leads to hardware investments, which are at best based on qualified guesses that they will improve the situation, and at worst based on half-pronounced promises from the local computer salesman. To help this problem it would be desirable to be able to simulate the information flow in an organisation in such a way that the effects of new hardware implementations could be studied. As the information flow in an organisation can be said to be a complex system, a Cellular Automata (CA) approach is appropriate to build such a simulation. CA approaches have been used for several simulations of complex situations before, as an example, models of combat (Dockery, and Woodcock, 1993) and models of traffic flow (Wahle, et al, 1999). In order to create a simulation, behaviour and information flows must be analysed and formalised using a computer-parsable notation language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2002
Keywords
information distribution, simulating
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1385 (URN)000176703100052 ()107 (Local ID)0-306-47247-3 (ISBN)107 (Archive number)107 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2009-07-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
2. Simulations of Highly Complex Social Systems as a Tool for Designing Information Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulations of Highly Complex Social Systems as a Tool for Designing Information Systems
2004 (English)In: Anticipatory systems and cybernetics. Soft computing and computional intelligence. Computer Science and simulation models.: Partial proceedings of the sixth international conference CASYS´03 on Computing Anticipatory Systems, Liége, Belgium, August 11-16, 2003 / [ed] Dubois, D M, Liege: CHAOS , 2004, Vol. 14, p. 286-298Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When designing information systems, it would be good to be able to compare alternatives. However, information systems are complex phenomena as they encompass the humans involved in distributing the information. One possible way of making comparisons would be through simulation. Having constructed a prototype for such a simulation we have seen that the traditional approaches, such as Cellular Automata, utilized within the social simulations field are usable but not sufficient. However, the newer agent-based approaches show more promise. We conclude that in order to make simulations of our kind possible, the new technologies, such as multi-agent systems, need be adapted and extended. One of the pieces missing is an agent-based infrastructure building on anticipatory principles for agent information behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Liege: CHAOS, 2004
Series
International journal of computing anticipatory systems, ISSN 1373-5411 ; 14
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-7423 (URN)2-930396-01-6 (ISBN)
Conference
CATSYS´03
Available from: 2008-12-11 Created: 2008-12-07 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
3. A Theoretical Base for High-level Simulation of Organisational Information Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Theoretical Base for High-level Simulation of Organisational Information Systems
2006 (English)In: Systems research and behavioral science, ISSN 1092-7026, E-ISSN 1099-1743, Vol. 23, no 6, p. 815-823Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The design of organisational information systems is a study of the complex. An organisational information system in the Human Activity System sense, is the sum total of all that contributes to distributing information within an organisation. This includes the human actors participating in the system. Managing information about such a system is a difficult task. Technical support for measuring organisational information systems and comparing different ideas about organisational information systems would thus be useful. A high-level simulation of information systems could be such a technical support. There are a number of issues making such a simulation infeasible today. These mainly arise from the complexity of the simulation model, and in consequence of the data input problem. However, by introducing isomorphism and object templates, it is possible to solve some of these problems. In order to utilise these approaches, a framework for isomorphic simulations need to be developed.

Keywords
Information system, social system, social simulation, systems design, ImAOS
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3301 (URN)10.1002/sres.704 (DOI)000243494400010 ()2-s2.0-33846281838 (Scopus ID)3229 (Local ID)3229 (Archive number)3229 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
4. A Comparison of Three Approaches to Model Human Behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Comparison of Three Approaches to Model Human Behavior
2010 (English)In: COMPUTING ANTICIPATORY SYSTEMS CASYS'09 / [ed] Daniel M Dubois, Liège: CHAOS , 2010, p. 354-362Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One way of studying social processes is through the use of simulations. The use of simulations for this purpose has been established as its own field, social simulations, and has been used for studying a variety of phenomena. A simulation of a social setting can serve as an aid for thinking about that social setting, and for experimenting with different parameters and studying the outcomes caused by them. When using the simulation as an aid for thinking and experimenting, the chosen simulation approach will implicitly steer the simulationist towards thinking in a certain fashion in order to fit the model. To study the implications of model choice on the understanding of a setting where human anticipation comes into play, a simulation scenario of a coffee room was constructed using three different simulation approaches: Cellular Automata, Systems Dynamics and Agent-based modeling. The practical implementations of the models were done in three different simulation packages: Stella for Systems Dynamic, CaFun for Cellular Automata and SesAM for Agent-based modeling. The models were evaluated both using Randers' criteria for model evaluation, and through introspection where the authors reflected upon how their understanding of the scenario was steered through the model choice. Further the software used for implementing the simulation models was evaluated, and practical considerations for the choice of software package are listed. It is concluded that the models have very different strengths. The Agent-based modeling approach offers the most intuitive support for thinking about and modeling a social setting where the behavior of the individual is in focus. The Systems Dynamics model would be preferable in situations where populations and large groups would be studied as wholes, but where individual behavior is of less concern. The Cellular Automata models would be preferable where processes need to be studied from the basis of a small set of very simple rules. It is further concluded that in most social simulation settings the Agent-based modeling approach would be the probable choice. This since the other models does not offer much in the way of supporting the modeling of the anticipatory behavior of humans acting in an organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Liège: CHAOS, 2010
Series
AIP Conference Proceedings, ISSN 0094-243X ; 1303
Keywords
Social simulation, Agent based modeling, Cellular Automata, Systems Dynamics, Model comparison
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-10988 (URN)10.1063/1.3527173 (DOI)000287168400038 ()2-s2.0-79251537772 (Scopus ID)978-0-7354-0858-6 (ISBN)
Conference
9th International Conference on Computing Anticipatory Systems, CASYS'09; Liege; 3 August 2009 through 8 August 2009
Available from: 2010-01-11 Created: 2010-01-11 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
5. Defining the Information Part of Information System: A Base for Simulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Defining the Information Part of Information System: A Base for Simulation
2005 (English)In: IRIS 28: Proceedings of the 28th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia. IRIS 28, Kristiansand, Norway, August 6-9 2005, 2005Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In order to construct a quantitative model of an information system, an operational definition of "information" is needed. This operational definition needs to mold the concept into a quantitative entity. There are many differend definitions of information already, but they have been formulated with other purposes. In this article the concept of operation is operationally defined with the long-term purpose of building simulation model of an information system where the human actors are considered part of the system. The concept is discussed from the viewpoint of earlier definitions, related concepts, things that happen to it and its various aspects. The curriculum of information is reformulated into quantitative terms, in order to finally arrive in a new definition of information within the current context: Information is an explicitly constructed message, always ultimately constructed by a sentient being. Along with describing the properties assigned to this entity, it is believed that it would be possible to construct a quantitative model of a complete information system.

Keywords
Information system, information
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3302 (URN)3231 (Local ID)3231 (Archive number)3231 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
6. Temporal Perspectives on Systems Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal Perspectives on Systems Development
2008 (English)In: 31th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS-31), 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Today, most journal articles written concerning information systemsdevelopment and/or evaluation of information systems fall into two categories: normativestatements before or early in the development process, and evaluational statementstaking place after the development process. It would seem that few articles are publishedconcerning pre-hoc model evaluation. In this article a mapping of all articles from 2002-2007 in five journals are made along two axes; one temporal and one from normative toevaluational. It is shown that very few articles had an evaluational focus with a timeperspective ranging from before to during the development process, within the ISjournals, while the software engineering journals provided some input here.

National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12109 (URN)
Available from: 2010-10-12 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
7. Criteria for Measuring and Comparing Information systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Criteria for Measuring and Comparing Information systems
2007 (English)In: 30th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS-30), 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Whether designing a new system or evaluating an old one it could be useful tobe able to compare the system with another system, intended or existing. One way toevaluate and compare information systems would be through a set of criteriaencompassing factors thought important. For such criteria to be useful they need to beoperational and measurable. This article presents a list of criteria found in literature,combined with a few criteria not found, and a categorization. The criteria are presented ina collected hierarchical model organizing them into the categories of Organization,Individual, Information, Technology and Systemics. It is concluded that the criteria modelmay be useful, for example as a checklist during design, but that it needs to beoperationalized, and be exposed to practice and empirics.

Keywords
Information system, evaluation, measurement, comparison, criteria
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12110 (URN)
Available from: 2010-10-12 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
8. Criteria for Supporting Change in Information Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Criteria for Supporting Change in Information Systems
2010 (English)In: Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, ISSN 1477-9633, E-ISSN 2040-056XArticle in journal (Refereed) Accepted
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12111 (URN)
Available from: 2010-10-12 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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