Graphical Ibis

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Kunz's Issue Based Information Systems (IBIS) provide a framework for collaborative understanding of the major issues and implications surrounding what are described as ``wicked problems'' (problems that lack a definitive formulation). Understanding is achieved by using hypertext components to create structured arguments surrounding the issues.

Issues as Elements of Information Systems
W. Kunz and H. Rittel, Center for Planning and Development Research, University of California Berkeley, 1970.

Interactions in the gIBIS (graphical IBIS) system centered around a graphic overview of the emerging hypertext network. New nodes and links were always created in this global context.

Figure gIBIS Workspace
graphical browser (left), structured index into the nodes (top right), inspection window in which to view and edit the contents and attributes of the currently selected node or link (bottom right).

The hypertext model of IBIS consists of three node types:

  1. issues

  2. positions

  3. arguments

Eight link types represent the allowable relationships between these nodes:

  1. generalises

  2. specialises

  3. replaces

  4. questions

  5. is_suggested_by

  6. responds_to

  7. objects_to

  8. supports

Figure Enforcing Argument Structure
gIBIS action menu reflects the legal operations available on the selected node

Together, the node and link types create and maintain a semantics for hypertext networks designed specifically to support argumentation dialogues. gIBIS extends the IBIS model in three ways:

  1. an other type for nodes and links is introduced as an escape mechanism for when the author can't find a way to express a thought within the IBIS framework.

  2. an external type is used for nodes that contain external material

  3. positions and arguments can be specialisations or generalisations of other positions and arguments. A gIBIS subnet (a single issue, followed by its positions, and their argument nodes) can be gathered into a composite Issue-Position-Argument node. This node provides additional structure for representing competing positions.

See Also:

gIBIS - A Hypertext Tool for Exploratory Policy Discussion
Jeff Conklin & Michael Begeman, Proceedings of CSCW88, 140-152, 1998


-- Last edited October 27, 2002

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