An Approach to Cooperating Organizational Memories Based on Semantic Negotiation and Unification

Martin Schaaf and Ludger van Elst

The term "Organizational Memory Information System" (OMIS or OM) has been assigned to systems that support the management of explicit knowledge in an organization. In a single OM-scenario a set of agents dedicated to particular management tasks can communicate and collaborate on a semantic level by the presence of a domain ontology acting as a semantic index to the stored information items. In order to support communication and collaboration across OM boundaries, a common understanding of domain specific terms must be established e.g. by developing a shared ontology. In this paper we sketch an evolutionary approach toward a shared ontology based on similarities of local concepts gained by negotiation. We identify three semantic levels of Inter-OM communication and present a generic communication pattern that incrementally moves communication to higher levels.

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