Communications design in GDSS
The design of a group decision support system necessitates careful analysis and design of communications capabilities. Communications support should go beyond establishment of reliable and efficient data transfers. This chapter proposed the creation of a communications component for GDSS. At different phases of the group decision process, the communications component can play three supporting roles: It can be a coordinator in that it provides support for various types of information exchange between group members; it can be a detective by enforcing group norms related to communication protocols; finally, it can be an inventor in that it helps search for data compatibility and sorts relevant information for diffusion.
This chapter also discussed architectural issues of the group DSS communications component. It suggested the use of the ISO network model. Specifically, the functional modules of the communications component (i.e., the group norm constructor, the group norm filter, the invocation mechanism and the IDSS-to-GDSS formatter) could be integrated into the last two layers of the ISO model.
Such an integration would not only minimize operating systems dependencies and simplify protocol interfaces, but facilitate the implementation of various group DSS architectures as well.
KeywordsGroup Decision Communication Protocol Problem Definition Communication Component Group Decision Support System
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