Structured Group Discussion system. In the 1980s, Horst Rittel developed the Issue-Based Information System, a hypertext environment for the structured discussion of design issues. This system uses a stringent classification scheme to organize the data. There are three node types (issues, positions, arguments) and nine link types (responds-to, questions, supports, objects-to, specializes, generalizes, refers-to, replaces). These elements are designed to be used in the analysis of "Wicked Problems."

  • simpler list of node types (with no link types): dang, I wish FreeMind has these exact icons!
    • question/issue (icon=question mark)
    • idea/position (icon=light bulb)
    • pro, con (argument) (icons = plus, minus)

Eric Armstrong suggested in 2006 that some tweaks would make IBIS into an excellent D And D tool. Since design discussions involving multiple participants frequently turn out to be "wicked" in nature, a design methodology based on IBIS techniques makes sense. But a good methodology can help a solo designer (or Product Manager), as well, helping him or her to clarify and understand the needs of the target audience.

  • includes aside: At one point, Jeff Conklin and his crew created a tool that allowed people to hold an IBIS discussion online. In a private conversation, he relayed to me that it didn't work out all that well, primarily because it turned out to be a crucial to have a facilitator present-- mostly to identify the issue(s) buried in an objection.

Someone tried to do this in wiki: https://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Codev/IbisWiki

Summary of gIBIS (graphical IBIS): http://www.weblogkitchen.com/wiki.cgi?GraphicalIbis

Could you get close to this with Mind Mapping? Some people have integrated IBIS icons into FreeMind.

Dorian Taylor notes

  • This document specifies a vocabulary (ontology) for describing an IBIS (issue-based information system). The purpose of this vocabulary is to express the necessary semantics for the internal representation of—and interchange between—collaborative software systems that facilitate structured argumentation and issue-based reasoning. This vocabulary augments the semantic elements of the gIBIS paper by reusing components from, and thus integrating it into the Semantic Web.
  • I originally created this tool for the exclusive purpose of testing a protocol I designed. The purpose of this protocol is to facilitate the rapid development of RDF CRUD applications with the fewest possible moving parts, in particular the ability to modify server-side graph content without having to rely on client-side JavaScript. This simple protocol is embedded into HTML <form> fields, the name= attributes of which are specially-crafted to sum up to commands to add and remove RDF statements from a given graph database.
  • In order to test the protocol, I needed an RDF vocabulary. A year or two prior, I had created a vocabulary for representing instances of Kunz and Rittel's Issue-Based Information System (IBIS). Feedback from using the tool has since stimulated a number of revisions to my initial interpretation of the system.
  • While I believe that synoptic views are essential to comprehending complex data, I am sympathetic to Martin Krzywinski's position that hairball force-directed layouts are suboptimal in their information-carrying capacity - so much so that I implemented his hiveplot design in a very early prototype of this tool. I very quickly discovered that while it is an attractive visualization for static presentation graphics, the hiveplot was inadequate—at least for this particular—interactive application, as it turns out the aspect ratio of the image changes dramatically with the addition of new elements, making it impossible to design around. This led me to implement Krzywinski's Circos plot, which has its own set of shortcomings for the data in question: Circos appears to be better for shallower graphs, which IBIS is most definitely not. I have a semi-original idea for a third attempt which will look wildly different from the first two, but it will have to wait until I can sequester enough time to implement it.

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The descendants of Jeff Conklin's gIBIS are first his work with GDSS's Quest Map now used by Conklin to support Dialogue Mapping, which has been further extended into Compendium, and a Java tool called Mifflin. (Simon Buckingham Shum)

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