یک سیستم چند عاملی مبتنی بر آنتولوژی برای حمایت از چارچوب برون سپاری HABIO
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|628||2011||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||1 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 38, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 6949–6956
In recent years the widespread application of outsourcing to help improve finance and maintain competitiveness is growing rapidly, and has been accompanied by a growth of academic research in this field. Most of the outsourcing literature has focused primarily on the social and cultural impacts, the organisational and management perspectives of outsourcing and very few tools have been developed to assist managers in making outsourcing decisions. Incorrect decision-making in outsourcing can lead to devastating consequences for their business. To guide decision makers in managing the complexity of outsourcing a holistic approach to outsourcing has been developed by taking business, information and organisational perspectives (HABIO). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how HABIO can be applied to help managers evaluate the impact of their decision-making by providing them with a set of ‘what-if’ scenarios, which are enacted by intelligent agents. The case example, discussed in this paper, demonstrates that HABIO can be applied effectively using a multi-agent system to analyse the outsourcing decision for a call centre sector in the retail industry. A prototype of the multi-agent system is presented where intelligent agents are endowed with specific domain ontologies, appropriate to solve a specific problem, and with a reasoning mechanism to achieve specific goals and to collaborate together to produce a set of “what-if scenarios” to the outsourcing managers.
In recent years outsourcing, though not a new phenomenon, has become one of the strongest trends within business, who sought outsourcing as a vehicle to cost savings and in particular to reduce IT costs and maintain competitiveness (Takac, 1994). PricewaterhouseCoopers (2008) argues that the outsourcing trend is likely to accelerate given the difficult economic conditions. The widespread use of outsourcing activities has been accompanied by a growth of academic research in this field, most of which focused on issues and challenges posed to decision makers from either a management perspective (e.g. Domberger, 1998 and Lonsdale, 1999) or social and organisational dimensions (e.g. Kessler et al., 1999 and Krishna et al., 2004). Furthermore the literature survey carried out by Dibbern, Goles, Hirschheim, and Jayatilaka (2004) indicated that outsourcing research appeared to be diverse in its coverage though strongly focused on information systems. However, very few research activities have provided decision makers with appropriate tools to assist them in managing the complexity of outsourcing and understanding the impact of their strategy on their business. The current research outlined in this paper is an attempt at addressing this gap. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how HABIO, which advocates a holistic approach to outsourcing by taking business, information and organisational perspectives, can be applied to help decision makers manage the complexity of outsourcing (Ho & Atkins, 2005). With the help of intelligent agents managers can evaluate the impact of their decision-making by providing them with a set of ‘what-if’ scenarios. A multi-agent system is applied to a call centre retail industry to demonstrate the merits of this framework. This paper gives an overview of the current outsourcing of call centres, and outlines the main concepts behind HABIO which provides the building blocks for the development of the multi-agent system. This is followed by a description of the three layered multi-agent architecture and the ontological modelling of agents necessary to support the communication and coordination of outsourcing tasks among the agents. Some challenges and future investigation are given in the conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has described a prototype multi-agent system, based on the HABIO framework, to support decision makers in managing the complexity of outsourcing. The domain of the retail call centre was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of this framework. The prototype system used a multi-agent approach to simulate the interactions between various departments within the call centre and providing a series of ‘what-if scenarios’ to address the problem of attrition which presents one of the main challenging problems within the call centre domain. It was necessary to endow the agents with the appropriate outsourcing ontology to enable them not only to communicate but also to collaborate together to achieve a common goal. This was realised by developing a three-tier novel agent communicational architecture to support the collaborative framework between the core agents and their sub-agents. The ontologies were developed using Protégé2000, JESS and JADE provided the reasoning engine and communication environment. The architecture of the above multi-agent system has enabled the integration of the critical outsourcing perspectives of HABIO, and provided the decision makers with a useful tool to assess holistically the impact of their outsourcing strategy. Although the system is still a prototype it has demonstrated that the three-tier architecture is capable of capturing HABIO’s framework, and providing a valuable set of ‘what-if scenarios’ to the decision makers. Currently the agents are reactive and driven by rules. If the outsourcing scenarios and environments change, the rules and the probability measures have to be updated manually so that the agents can adapt to the new environment. There is a need to modify the behaviour aspect of agents so that they can learn to modify their probability measures based on previous experiences using Bayesian belief networks, and become proactive and adaptive in the future. In the development of this system a number of challenges and problems had to be resolved, some of which related to knowledge elicitation of the outsourcing domain and activities pertinent to the call centre while others related to the integration of the three technologies used. The current prototype system focuses on the problem of staffing and attrition, it is planned to incorporate other issues relevant to call centres and expand the ontology to other outsourcing domains. In this prototype the current agents reside in one computer; it is also envisaged to extend the current architecture to a distributed multi-agent system environment.