Peer-Mediated Distributed Knowledge Management

Matteo Bonifacio, Paolo Bouquet, Gianluca Mameli, and Michele Nori

Distributed Knowledge Management is an approach to knowledge management based on the principle that the multiplicity (and heterogeneity) of perspectives within complex organizations is not be viewed as an obstacle to knowledge exploitation, but rather as an opportunity that can foster innovation and creativity. Despite a wide agreement on this principle, most current KM systems are based on the idea that all perspectival aspects of knowledge should be eliminated in favor of an objective and general representation of knowledge. In this paper we propose a peer-to-peer architecture (called KEx), which embodies the principle above in a quite straightforward way: (i) each peer (called a K-peer) provides all the services needed to create and organize "local" knowledge from an individual’s or a group’s perspective, and (ii) social structures and protocols of meaning negotiation are introduced to achieve semantic coordination among autonomous peers (e.g., when searching documents from other K-peers). A first version of the system, called KEx, is implemented as a knowledge exchange level on top of JXTA.

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