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The cat's cradle network

Pigott, D., Gammack, J. and Hobbs, V.J. (2003) The cat's cradle network. Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, 2 (2). pp. 87-92.

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In this paper we will argue that the representation of context in knowledge management is appropriately served by the representation of the knowledge networks in an historicised form. Characterising context as essentially extra to any particular knowledge representation, we argue that another dimension to these be modelled, rather than simply elaborating a form in its own terms. We present the formalism of the cat's cradle network, and show how it can be represented by an extension of the Pathfinder associative network that includes this temporal dimension, and allows evolutions of understandings to be traced. Grounding its semantics in communities of practice ensures utility and cohesiveness, which is lost when mere externalities of a representation are communicated in fully fledged forms. The scheme is general and subsumes other formalisms for knowledge representation. The cat's cradle network enables us to model such community-based social constructs as pattern languages, shared memory and patterns of trust and reliance, by placing their establishment in a structure that shows their essential temporality.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Information Technology
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co
Notes: Electronic version of an article published as Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2003, Pages 87-92 © World Scientific Publishing Company
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