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Knowledge management for self-organised resource allocation

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Title: Knowledge management for self-organised resource allocation
Authors: Burth Kurka, D
Pitt, J
Ober, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Many instances of socio-technical systems in the digital society and digital economy require some form ofself-governance. Examples include community energy systems, peer production systems, participatory sensingapplications, and shared management of communal living areas or workspace. Such systems have severalfeatures in common, of which three are that they arerule-oriented,self-organisingandvalue-sensitive, and inoperation, this combination of features entails self-modification of the rules in order to satisfice a changeableset of values. This presents a fundamental dilemma for systems design. On the one hand, the system mustbe sufficiently unrestricted (resilient, flexible) to enable a diverse group but with a shared set of congruentvalues to achieve their joint purposes in collective action situations. On the other hand, it must be sufficientlyrestricted (stable, robust) to prevent a subset of the group from exploiting self-determination ‘against itself’ andusurp control of the system for the benefit of their own narrow interests. To address this problem, we considera study of classical Athenian democracy which investigates how the governance model of the city-stateflourished. The work suggests that exceptionalknowledge management, i.e. making information available forsocially productive purposes, played a crucial role in sustaining its democracy for nearly 200 years, by creatingprocesses for aggregation, alignment and codification of knowledge. We therefore examine the propositionthat some properties can be generalised to resolve the rule-restriction dilemma by establishing a set ofdesignprinciplesintended to make knowledge management processes open, inclusive, transparent and effective inself-governed social technical systems. We operationalise three of these principles in the context of a collectiveaction situation, namely self-organised common-pool resource allocation, and present the results of a series ofexperiments showing how knowledge management processes can be used to obtain robust solutions for theperception of fairness, allocation decision and punishment mechanisms. By applying this operationalisationof the design principles for knowledge management processes as a complement to institutional approaches togovernance, we demonstrate empirically how it can satisfice shared values, distribute power fairly, and apply“common sense” in dealing with rule violations. We conclude by arguing that this approach to the designof socio-technical systems can provide a balance between restricted and unrestricted self-modification ofconventional rules, and can thus provide the foundations for sustainable and democratic self-governance insocio-technical systems.
Issue Date: 18-Sep-2019
Date of Acceptance: 17-May-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/70672
DOI: 10.1145/3337796
ISSN: 1556-4665
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery
Journal / Book Title: ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © ACM, 2019. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS), {VOL 14, ISS 1, Date September 2019} https://doi.org/10.1145/3337796
Keywords: Science & Technology
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence
Computer Science, Information Systems
Computer Science, Theory & Methods
Computer Science
Knowledge management
common-pool resource allocation
norm-governed systems
0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing
1702 Cognitive Sciences
Artificial Intelligence & Image Processing
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 1
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Faculty of Engineering