Architectural Knowledge for Re-greening in Africa

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About Architectural Knowledge for Re-greening in Africa

  • This project has been fulfilled.
  • This project fits in the following Bachelor programs: {{#arraymap:|, |xXx|bachelorproject within::xXx|,}}
  • This project fits in the following masterareas: {{#arraymap:Knowledge Technology and Intelligent Internet Applications, Technical Artificial Intelligence, AI and Communication, Internet and Web Technology, Software Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Information Sciences|, |xXx|project within::xXx|,}}


Description

There is more and more evidence that the technical structure of large software systems is correlated with the social structure of its developers' community. E.g., functionalities tend to cluster and consequently get organized into modules analogously to how teams developing this functionality are organized. As a consequence, there are often alignment issues between modules that emerge where involved teams lack effective means to share knowledge effectively.

In order to fully understand the knowledge sharing needs between human beings, we have to observe their current daily usage of knowledge management services.

Knowledge management happens through channels or platforms. Classical knowledge sharing platforms allow to author and share knowledge about artefacts. By sharing artefacts on a common platform there is more potential for reusability and design scalability. Semantic technology largely tackles the scalability of these knowledge platforms by providing intelligent services for searching, linking and tagging artefacts by means of a common ontology. Finally, syndication services allow to filter the overload of information by signaling only those changes in the knowledge landscape that are relevant for a certain individuals or (sub)community. In addition to platforms, a big deal of knowledge is conveyed over channels. Channels leave a trace of what people informally socialise.

The problem is that these two ways of knowledge management are usually considered separately. However, they should be intertwined to align knowledge sharing services better with the community needs.

In this thesis you will observe a community committed to re-green Africa. People with different expertise's, concerns and objectives need to effectively collaborate to achieve this important goal for public sustainability. You will get a better understanding of community structure and dynamics, about its knowledge sharing behaviour, and about current communication breakdowns. Based on that we can synthesize new needs for knowledge sharing services in an especially challenging environment like Africa, where resources are limited and therefore IT services must be designed taking into consideration sustainability concerns.

The thesis is expected to be available from Spring 2011, in the context of the [Web Alliance for Regreening in Africa (W4RA) project]. It is in collaboration with Pieter de Leenheer.