The Decision Support Workshop of May 2-4, 2000 held in San Luis Obispo, Cal., was the second in a series that was started one year earlier as a joint project of the Office of Naval Research and the Collaborative Agent Design Research Center of Cal Poly.

The goal of this series of Workshops is to provide a forum where connections can be established on one hand between developers and proponents of decision support tools, with potential users such as managers of large, complex organizations/systems on the other. Clearly, the military belong to this class of users and it is therefore not surprising that ONR has a vested interest in promoting research in this particular field. It is also clear that the class of potential users is not restricted to the military - in fact civilian government bodies as well as business and industry entities should be strongly interested in adopting these tools (and their future refinements) for their own specific purposes. The list of the speakers and the topics presented during the Workshop does indeed attest to the variety of areas where decision support systems are already in use.

This Workshop has concentrated on the human-computer interaction. Although computers are after all man-made devices, there is a peculiarity in the way humans interact with a computer that has no parallel in human-human interactions. This was brought out in an interesting talk by Dr. Ron DeMarco. Other areas where computers play a major role included the topic of how information is handled, secured, and assured. Since the basis of all decision making is accurate , uncontaminated information, this is a very important topic that was excellently treated by Mr. Steve York and Ms. Virginia Wiggins in their presentations. Other highlights included a thought-provoking talk by RADM C. L. Munns that raised many questions concerning decision support in the Fleet. An interesting description of the risks of misusing information technology was given, with his usual verve, by Dr. Gary Klein. The reader of these Proceedings will find other excellent discussions of decision support systems, in particular the agent-based ones described by the senior staff of CADRC.


Software Engineering



URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cadrc/7