Technology

Our particular speciality is human-computer knowledge transfer:

  • From brain to computer
  • From computer to brain

Our employees have backgrounds in Artificial Intelligence, Psychology and Software Engineering. This provides them with the abilities to deliver services and create products that are unique, state of the art, proven, generic and flexible.

For over 10 years, we have provided a bridge between leading research and practical business solutions. Our chairman, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, has an international reputation for work in knowledge engineering, and has been at the vanguard of applying knowledge engineering methods to the management of organizational knowledge assets.


Knowledge Acquisition Methods

"If the human mind was simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it". (Emerson Pugh)

Much of the knowledge vital to an organization is in the heads of its experts. This knowledge is notoriously difficult to acquire. Interviewing experts is rarely enough:

  • Interviewing is inefficient
  • Interviewing can take up valuable time from experts
  • Interviewing cannot acquire tacit knowledge (i.e. automated knowledge not consciously available, hence impossible to describe)

Epistemics uses a range of techniques (many taken from cognitive psychology) that:

  • Take experts off the job for short periods
  • Focus on the essential knowledge
  • Can capture tacit knowledge
  • Capture knowledge efficiently
  • Capture knowledge in a structured manner
  • Aggregate knowledge from multiple experts and documentation
  • Allow ongoing validation

A range of techniques is required since there are different types of knowledge and particular techniques are differentially suited to the elicitation of particular types of knowledge. For example, knowledge of products and knowledge of processes require different techniques.


Knowledge Acquisition Tools

"Man is a tool-using animal... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all".
(Thomas Carlyle)

Epistemics develops and markets a number of software toolkits that support:

  • Acquisition, Analysis and Modelling
  • Aggregation and Validation
  • Publishing, Implementation and Re-use

Each of the software toolkits:

  • Is composed of an integrated suite of tools
  • Uses a common knowledgebase
  • Provides multiple views of knowledge
  • Has the flexibility to support various methodologies
  • Is based on the latest ideas in knowledge acquisition and modelling


Expertise

Epistemics' consultants and software developers have expertise in three main areas: knowledge acquisition, knowledge storage and knowledge use.

Knowledge Acquisition:

  • Elicitation from expert practitioners
  • Aggregation from multiple experts and documentation
  • Validation to ensure accuracy and relevance

Knowledge Storage:

  • Structured repositories (Knowledgebases, Ontologies)
  • Searchability
  • Maintainability

Knowledge Use:

  • Electronic publication (Intranet sites)
  • Knowledge-based systems
  • Translation to other IT systems


Further Information

For more information see:

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Last modified: 8 August 2004