Managing Knowledge for Sustainance

A green advocate at work

Knowledge Acquisition January 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sudhaiyer @ 2:32 am

Why this topic!! …

Knowledge Management was the sole reason I came for my Masters @  UIS. My stint as a research analyst in the Knowledge Methods and Support (KMS) team was a great motivator for my interest in this area.

What is Knowledge Acquisition ?

Knowledge acquisition is the first step in any knowledge related project, be it designing expert systems, Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Management or in Knowledge engineering. As I researched for information, I realized how vast and unwinding the area of Knowledge Acquisition and its areas of applications were.

“Knowledge Acquisition is about extracting knowledge from sources of expertise and transferring it to a Knowledge Base” (citation: author TURBAN E. Source: EXPERT SYSTEMS AND APPLIED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, Pages pp 117-139)

Knowledge acquisition is a process of development and creation of insights, skills and relationships.  This process is linked to how human mind organizes and presents information. A typical example would be the prediction of trends by a stock broker who can predict market’s future using intuition and acquired knowledge by looking at trends on his computer. This is the kind of knowledge on which IT processes for knowledge projects focus and develop further. Knowledge acquisition is the first step in knowledge engineering and knowledge management projects.

Knowledge engineering is a field in (AI) artificial intelligence that develop computer programs containing large amounts of knowledge, rules and reasoning mechanisms to interpret and provide solutions to real-world problems. The basic Knowledge based systems development comprises of three processes which include knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing and knowledge utilization. To make the technology aspect of the other two processes more clear, knowledge sharing and knowledge utilization make use of communication networks and collaborative tools respectively. The process of knowledge acquisition includes elicitation, collection, analysis, modeling, and validation of knowledge. Knowledge acquisition makes use of database capture tools and is concerned with the transfer of knowledge from existing sources, such as experts and books, rather than the learning of knowledge from experience.

Knowledge Acquisition process…

Knowledge acquisition is the first step in knowledge management and engineering hence is a crucial process. The process of acquisition includes five stages:

  • Identification- Identifies the problem characteristics
  • Conceptualization – Find Concepts to represent the knowledge
  • Formalization – Design the structure to organize the knowledge
  • Implementation – Formulates rules, frames etc. to represent the knowledge
  • Testing – Validates the rules that organize the knowledge

Methods used in the process have seen changes over the last few decades. Early 70s techniques were based on human interviewing. The 80s was the generation of computer aided application of specific techniques such as repertory grids, behavior modeling, and text analysis. Current third-generation has highly integrated knowledge acquisition environments offering a wide range of complementary tools and techniques. Methods used to extract knowledge from experts, commonly used are the manual, automatic and the semi automatic methods. Manual methods include interviews and tracking the reason process, and observing. Semi automatic process requires only one of the either parties in the process, the knowledge engineer or the expert. Automatic process involves least involvement of an expert or an engineer.  Over the years, new tools have reduced the time spent for knowledge acquisition.

Problem areas…

  • Lack of time and motivation for experts to contribute to the knowledge acquisition process
  • Difficulty in communicating tacit knowledge to a knowledge engineer
  • Knowledge is considered to be dynamic; This requires for constant review and changes to knowledge base.

KA techniques and their application patterns:

Owing to the diversity of knowledge experts may posses, different areas of knowledge require different techniques for knowledge acquisition.

KA: areas of usage….

Application areas of KA techniques are irrespective of industry and knowledge area. KA has a role in every project which involves knowledge based project. As organizations across industries of archeology, molecular and plant biology, medicine, manufacturing, agriculture, financial services are leaning towards knowledge based technologies for competitive advantage, KA tools and techniques are gaining popularity.

Latest in the Knowledge arena…

Knowledge Acquisition has evolved to become more structured and formulated over the years. Use of methodologies, ontologies and software tools  apart from the knowledge engineering concept is making knowledge based applications more user friendly and practical. Another developing area is three dimension data acquisition, which is changing the face of Knowledge tools and applications. Imaging and data capture is contributing significantly to research and development in Artificial Intelligence, Expert systems, Neural network engineering, robotics and technology support tools for the physically challenged.

A few tools in the market…

There are a number of tools which aid in knowledge acquisition. A few of them include

PCPACK: A powerful business solution that supports the retention, sharing, management and re-use of knowledge vital to the organization.

Acquist: Tool designed to provide support for the knowledge acquisition stages. Hypertext based facility that allows the knowledge engineer to abstract and structuring the knowledge contained in ‘raw text’

CONKAT (CONnectionist Knowledge Acquisition Tool) enables automatic acquisition of knowledge out of a set of examples. Enhances the reasoning capabilities of classical expert systems with the ability of generalize and the handling of incomplete cases

Protégé/2000 : Advanced Tools for Building Intelligent Systems


KA tools have undergone continual development in response to market demands, technological advances and customer feedback. Knowledge acquisition process, considered as the “critical bottleneck”, is more than acquiring knowledge. The interview process and the development of the knowledge base are most time consuming. Over the years, systematic KA methods, frameworks, and interactive tools have been developed to resolve time issues. Although, KA area is an old area, there is still room for developments and improvement. There will be a time when experts can work directly with a computer and negate requirement of a knowledge engineer. The future holds promise for Knowledge acquisition tools which combine new integrated and generic features to aid in processes for the new knowledge era.


Managing Skeptics January 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sudhaiyer @ 5:28 pm

Thank you for stopping by…While you are here…do write in your comments about the posts…your time and opinion mean a lot to me…I am here to pen down my thoughts and to open up to ideas, all in favour of our planet

Image source:

If you know some one who majorly argues that

  • climate change is inevitable and thats what has happened over billion years of earth’s existence
  • or that nothing can be done about non-biodegradable debris floating in the oceans .

Just shake them up to make them see sense, and tell them..that though climate change has been cyclic over the last million hasn’t been as rapid as it has been in the last two decades.

I know I am sounding too hostile in this post…but it is no longer a matter where we can spare these fools from waking up to reality. It is getting tougher to tackle these M*r*ns who are all out to display their pseudo intelligence.Will they wake up only when their own body is afflicted with some form of irreversible health issue? or will they bang their heads to the wall when they realise that their new born has some health issue because of all the moronic choices they made over the years?

Let them continue being as ignorant as they are and increase risk of breast and prostate cancer, genital abnormalities in male babies, infertility in men, early puberty in girls, Type-2 diabetes, and many more helaht issues thanks to all toxins seeping into the eco system.

More than saving the world from “things”..We better save the planet from these pests….


Business Analyst – The Most Confused Profilet January 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sudhaiyer @ 9:37 pm

Job search is never easy. This is when you are all confused and have doubts about everything about yourself. This is more so when you have been on a hunt for quite a while (say ages). Having been to a Business School to graduate with an MBA and an MS. I am one of those who cannot put up with anything “corporate”.

I believe am Business Analyst (Research and Knowledge Services) in the true sense, a bridge between the Technology folks and the Business folks. It is being a functional specialist, with a great logical and analytical bent of mind. Communication skills tops the list of must have soft skills along with being quick on your feet. Sounds like a generic skill set? May be it is, maybe not. People management is the toughest on the planet, professional or otherwise.And a business analysts has to make sense out of what the IT guys talk through their cubicles and when the business “speaks its mind”. At times, I really doubt if I want to put up with all this.

All said and done, I have my take on why looking for work as a researcher and an analyst is such a pain. Industry has done enough damage to confuse the profile of a Business Analyst. One search on a popular search engine, leads you to a million job openings with tag line of “Business Analyst”. Read through the requirement and you realise, they need a programmer or someone with only technical skills. Where as business analyst needs to be a through functional professional with business management backing and a strong hold on applications and functionality. I hate to see ads being formatted by confused individuals who are all the more cofused when they are in an interview panel…Red tape and nepotism prevails…who wants talent…when you can hire some one from your “region” or your caste to take a hefty packet home. sour grapes? may be!


Hello fellow bloggers December 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sudhaiyer @ 5:38 am

I am excited about using this platform to blog about managing knowledge for social, economic and environmental sustainability. I am an ardent green advocate and believe that nothing happens in isolation. We as humans inhabiting this blue-green planet have a lot to think about before taking it for granted. I am among those few hundreds who believe that a small effort can lead to a major change.

I am in the pursuit of living a green life with minimal impact on the environment. My journey began 15 years ago.  I cant say I have achieved all my goals and I am not where I need to be, but I am glad I am not where I might have been! I am trying to put a great man’s advice into action – I am trying to be the change I want to see around me. I am open to ideas and thoughts and would be glad to know one new “green” idea that could change my life for the better!

Live well and take care