The Architecture of an Information System for the Support of Alternative Generation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-67
Journal / PublicationJournal of Management Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


The pre-choice stages of the problem solving process are more difficult to support through information systems than choice itself. Systems that facilitate problem formulation and solution finding are typically cither expert system programs with narrow application domains or programs dealing with easily quantifiable problems. In contrast, this paper introduces a decision support system, GENI, that operates independent of domain, aiding the user in general problem solving tasks. The system's purpose is to support the problem solving process, rather than be a substitute for the human problem solver, by providing structure and by using different stimuli to prompt the user for data input. To deal with broad classes of complex qualitative problems, no single processing mode is sufficient. Hence the techniques in GENI differ mainly in the interface, that is, the types of stimuli displayed, and the types of data recorded. GENI's user interface is built around a standard dialog function that can be modified by means of parameter settings. Experimental results show that differences in the interface content can lead to significant differences in problem-solver performance. © M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1992.

Research Area(s)

  • Alternative generation, Decision support system, Idea generation, Idea generation software, Problem formulation, Problem solving