Yearbook of World Problems: Special index for plotting organization and concept networks
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October 1973

Yearbook of World Problems

Special index for plotting organization and concept networks

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1. Introduction

A special type of index is required to display in the most economical manner (space, computer programming and time) the relationships between problems in networks. To simplify the task, only one network will be dealt with at a time around one problem.

It is intended that the output from the processing run should be a magnetic tape with data in a format approximating that for a line printer. This tape would be used to produce a reduced version via a photocomposition process. The resulting bromide or film in galley format would be:

1.1. photocopied and used as questioning devices to organizations conemed with the problems;

1.2. used selectively to produce a special index to the Yearbook. The basis for selection could be:

1.2.1. problems most connected

1.2.2. problems most "at cause"

1.2.3. problems most "at consequence"

1.2.4. problems with most subsidiaries

1.3. used, for the "major" problems, as illustrations facing the problem entry.

2. Input

The input would be magnetic tape in the format of the existing Yearbook index tape which has records by line number within index number within problem number. Each line represents one index entry.

One index number would group records of the format

# NNNN X # MMMM X

where NNNN is the problem number and MMMM the problem cross-referenced. The cross-reference type code is X. There are currently type codes as follows:

A contextual problems B subsidiary problems C associated problems P aggravated problems Q aggravating problems R alleviated problems S alleviating problems T displaced problems U displacing problems

Another index number contains the name of the problem NNNN; another contains the names of international organizations concerned with the problem NNNN (together with the reference numbers of those organizations in the Yearbook of International Organizations).

3. Output

Output is onto magnetic tape in line printer format. The output has several levels:

3.1. Problem break, with its name 3.2. Type code break, with its name 3.3. a) Problem map for that code type with b) list of problem names, under each of which are listed the organizations concerned with that problem.

4. Processing (outline suggestions)

4.1. Read index tape and extract onto disc

4.2. Processing can be sequential by problem, if "maps" are required for all problems. Otherwise some means of specifying those problems to be done must be provided (e.g. by card at run time).

4.2.1. Search out from problem origin to specified number of steps (e.g. 6) for specified types of problems. At each step store number in output line and name in table, e.g. o 1296P--o 4231P-- o 2619P-- o 0129P--o 0520P--o 1269P

4.2.2. Having completed on e sequence of steps, and therefore an output line, exhaust the branches of the search, in each case creating output lines, e.g.

 

The output lines will not repeat numbers to the left, since the sequence is clear from the linking dashes, both horizontal and vertical.

NB: To clarify the information held on the index tape, note that in the above example, the cross-reference index number (e.g. 23) for a given problem would order the records for cross-references to the next step, e.g. 1296 would have 4231 and 3299 0502 would have 4210, 3860,4219
4.2.3. The table of numbers encountered during the search out from the point of origin should be checked at each step so that duplicate sequences and loops are not entered. When a duplicate is encountered, the search of that branch should be terminated, flagging the duplicate number with an asterisk, e.g. o 4296P**
4.2.4. When the search and listing is completed, the stored problem names relating to the numbers listed should be listed out in number order, e.g. for the above example: 0129
0502
1111
1212
1222
4.2.5. As an option, it would be useful to be able to list out the organizations concerned with each problem, e.g. for the above example, the organization names should be added after the problem names
0129 ..................... ** International Organization. .......
** Committee on................... 0502 ....................
** International Federation. ..........

4.5. If specified, a new set of cross-references or a new type code (e.g. Q) should then be searched from the same origin and the result listed in the same way, otherwise the procedure should be repeated for the next problem origin.

5. Other Uses of Program

5.1. Clearly any network of relationships specified in this simple way can be plotted using this program. It could be of immediate use in plotting networks of organizations around a particular organization.

Type codes in this instance might be:

5.1.1. A - organizations to which it reports B - organizations which report to it C - related organizations
5.1.2. P - organizations which it opposes Q - organizations which oppose it R - organizations which it assists/funds, etc. S - organizations which assist it etc.

5.2. Similarly, the program could be used for listing out relationships between concepts - as suggested by the needs of the IPSA. Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis.

Type codes in this instance might be:

5.2.1. A - concepts which it is a component of B - concepts which are components of it C - related concepts

5.3. It is possible that this type of search and display would be very useful in an interactive mode. This mode would also be useful as a means of incorporating new problem (or organizational) relationships.

6. Program Inadequacies

6.1. The restriction of line format makes it impossible to display satisfactorily links between entities encountered on different search branches. This could be remedied in line-printer format by placing the origin point at the centre of the page and branching out in all directions. The links would, howdver, have to be drawn in by hand. The display routine would be complicated to design.

6.2. It is possible to incorporate problems of all type codes into one map but this display then becomes confused and loops cannot be indicated.

6.3. These and other difficulties could be avoided by using an interactive graphic display. This device is not widely available.

A compromise might be to plot the maps directly onto film using a microfilm plotting device (with vector generator). This would enable many maps to be produced very rapidly.


FIG. J EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE INDEXES TO FIG. 3A AND FIG. 3B

A. Subject/Bodies responsible index

This index may be used to determine(a) who could usefully be in contact with whom with regard to each subject area, (b) who (at different levels of authority) is responsible for initiating such a contact, (o) the date of the last and next decision-making period at which such a contact could have been or could be proposed, (d) areas of possible duplication of activity. On this last point, the mandate of each body implicated in a possible duplication of activity could be printed out by the computer as a qualifier on the subject area a indexing, possible form:

SUBJECT ARE KEYWORD-A

- SU3-SUB-BODY-l RESPONSIBLE ... MEENTING DATA
ADDRESS... - SUB-BODY-1 RESPONSIBLE MEETING DATA
ADDRESS... - BODY-l RESPONSIBLE MEETING DATA ADDRESS... - BODY-2 responsible ... MEETING DATA ADDRESS ... - SUB-BODY-3 RESPONSIBLE MEETING DATA ADDRESS.... - BODY-3 RESPONSIBLE MEETING DATA ADDRESS...

SUBJECT AREA KEYWORD-B

.....etc.

B. Organization/National contacts index

By cross-linking two organizational structures, e.g. an intergovernmental organization and the member states administrative structures, the contact points and 'opposite numbers' can be highlighted, as well as the chain of responsibility ... possible form:

INTERGOVIRMENTAL COMMTTEE ON RIVER POLICY - ITALY - R.S. PERINI(1968) TECHNICAL advisor RIVER PROTECTION SECTION MINISTRY of agriculture - UNITED kingdom - L.N. BROWN (1966) coordinator advisory group ok river pollution, MINISTRYOF TECHNOLOGY - N.P. SMITHERS (1967) RESEARCH DIRECTOR RIVER NAVIGATION INSTITUTE HOME OFFICE - etc.... INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR RIVER PROTECTION - etc....

C. National contacts/Organization index

Inverting this last index, an index by country is obtained. In other words a directory of all the bodies within any given country concerned with aspecified range of subjects is obtained. It. indicates which of these bodies, institutes, departments, or societies are in contact with which, for example, international organization, possible form:

CANADA - MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES - PLANT PROTECTION DIVISION - INTEGOVD NITEMPAL CONNITTEE on plants - FAO advisory GROUPONplants - INTER-AMERICAN PLANT PROTECTION ORGANIZATION - Salmon ****** division _ east atlantic Salnon fishing burlau - MINISTRY OF TECHNOLOGY - ...etc... D0MENICANREPUBLIC - ...etc...

D. Other indexes

Indexes need not berestricted to one type of structure. It should be posible to selectsuitable indexes with great flexibility. An index mightinclude allthe meeting,programmes, ad hoc groups concerned with a particular subjectxxx, as well as the formal organiz- ations. Similarlyit should bepossible tomerge in or select out information on international, national or local bodies, whether governmental or nongovernmental, nonprofit, etc. In this way rigid categories may be used when *** *** but do not distort the value of the information system for other users,when the categories haveto be reshuffled to structure contact for newtype of problem.

E. Other information.

Clearly in many cases a simple index width be quite inadequate. It is quite, possible, however, to print out information against each index entry. Some possibilities are: date and location of last and future meetings, whether a report was published for the last meeting, budget of the organ- ization, date of establishment and relevant gal data, or the last time a particular country was represented on the acutive, etc.

Example of a possible dzesign of a computer produced organization chart

Example of key to organization chart above
  • INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONFORDEVELOPMENT TECHNICAL PROBLEMS
  • AGREEMENT IGNED: 1953; CURRENT MEMBERSHIP: 20 STATES, 2 ASSOCIATE)
  • INFORMATION ON NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE ON EACH COMMITTEE: OH PILE TO MARCH 1969)
  • QUARY SUBJECT: TURBINE, MANUFACTUREPECISIONS
  • 0001 GENERAL ASSEMBLI (ART. 9; PLENARY 1954; 3 YEARLY MTG; REPORT)
  • 0002 GENERAL EXECUTIVE (ART. 9.10; OPERATIONS COORDINATION; 1953; QTLY MTG;
  • REPORT)
  • 0030 APPLICATION DIVISION (ART . 17; 1960)
  • 0031 ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT (1960 )
  • 0040 COMMITTEE ON STANDARDIZATION (L/49; 1961 )
  • 0041 SUBCOMMITTEE ONDOCUMENTATION (M/13; 1961)
  • 0042 WORKINGGROUP ON TERMINOLOGY (Z/62; 196l)
  • 0043 ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PATENTS (A/9; 1963)
  • 0044 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING COMMITTEE (B/11; 1963)
  • 0045 WATER POWERCONTROL GROUP (P/4: 194l)
  • 0046 WATER POWER SECTION (P/5; 1964)
  • 0047 TASK GROUP OP MODERNIZATION OF TRADITIONAL EQUIPMENT (P/6; 1966)
  • 0048 SUBCOMMITTEE 0N CHARACTERISTICS OF TRADITIONAL EQUIPMENT IN S. asiA
  • (L/2; 1969) 0049 COMMITTEE ON TURBINES (Q/3; 1964)
  • 0050 TURBINE group (Q/4; 1965)
  • 0051 CORROSION GROUP (N/16; 1967)
  • 0052 AD HOC STUDY GROUP ON NEW MATERIALS(A/42; 1968)
  • 0053 design group (N/9; 1966)
  • 0054 PROPELLER TURBINES (N/10; 1967)
  • 0055 TURBINE MANUFACTURE WORKING PARTY (32; 1969)
  • 0056 DAM CONSTRUCTION ADVISORY GROUP (R/32 1964)
  • 0057 POWER PLANT CONSTRUCTION advisorygroup (S/4; 1967)
  • 0058 RIVER STUDY GROUP (E/2; 1964)
  • 0059 METEOROLOGICAL GROUP (E/3; 1965)
  • 0060 ADVISORY GROUP ONNATIONALAPPLICATIONS PLANNING (A/10; 1966)
  • 0061 AD NOC GROUP N RIVER CONTROL POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS (a/11; 1966)
  • (INDEXING OPTIONS SELECTED: SUBJECT/BODIES RESPONSIBLE
  • ORGANIZATION/NATIONAL CONTRACTS NATIONAL CONTACTS/ORGANIZATION)
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