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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Method and System for Automatically Generating Information Dependencies", for Approval

July 24, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Senescu, Reid R. (Stanford, CA), filed on January 3, 2013, was made available online on July 10, 2014.

The patent's assignee is The Board of Trustees for the Leland Stanford Junior, University.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "With the development of technologies for business process improvement such as Design Structure Matrix (DSM), researchers have been contributing methods to improve the planning and control of assembly and information workflows. Even with these contributions, DSM remains a complementary tool used by a small fraction of industry projects and by a small fraction of the people on the projects in which it is implemented. The lack of prevalence of business process improvement methods is not due to the lack of value it provides, but rather the up-front implementation effort and associated cost, for example.

"Professionals can more easily apply business process improvement methods, for example, to manual processes (e.g., construction or manufacturing) because their non-iterative nature is more amenable to planning and control. The iterative nature of information work makes application for planning and control more rewarding but more difficult. The return on investment (ROI) for applying business process improvement to information work is positive but difficult to quantify due to the opacity of information workflows.

"DSM, for example, was generally developed to model task dependencies. Others have applied DSM to manufacturing and have extended DSM to include different degrees of dependency. Others have extended DSM beyond task modeling for use in Data Flow Diagrams to model information dependencies via the Design Product Model (DPM). Based on DPM, the Analytical Design Planning Technique (ADePT) is a tool that, when combined with Last Planner, enables process planning and control. The resulting DePlan provides a comprehensive method for design process management. Implementing DePlan requires developing a DSM which costs hours of effort invested early in the project. Despite the benefits of implementing DePlan, there exist significant costs that limit its use."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Revealing information dependencies among electronic documents or files has been shown to improve collaboration within teams and process sharing among teams. A method according to an embodiment of the present invention infers information dependence in real-time by capturing the manner in which computer users interact with files. For example, in an embodiment, such dependencies are represented as a sparse directed network or a Design Structure Matrix (DSM). In another embodiment of the present invention, the dependencies are embedded in an operating system or document management system at a level commensurate with the manner in which professionals use Windows Explorer.

"In another embodiment, an office environment is provided with files structured in both a network of information dependencies as well as a traditional hierarchy of folders. An embodiment of the present invention provides real-time visualization of workflows via information dependence. By enabling improved understanding of workflows, embodiments of the present invention catalyze widespread application of business process improvement methods that improve workflow.

"These and other embodiments are described in further detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

"FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a networked system on which the present invention can be practiced.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a computer system on which the present invention can be practiced.

"FIG. 3 is an illustration of the manner in which documents are related according to an embodiment of the present invention where each person creates a new document that depends on information from a previously created document.

"FIG. 4 is an illustration of a directed graph as implemented according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 is method for automatically generating information dependencies according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 6 is an illustration of a method for determining file dependency according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 7 is an illustration of a method for determining file dependency according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 8 is an illustration of a graphical user interface according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 9 is an illustration of a slider control for adjusting a threshold time according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 10A through 10C are various graphs illustrating certain features and results according to several embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 11 is a table (Table 1) tabulating the number of inputs/outputs to/from files (respectively) with a minimum of one input/output for w*(i,j,t*)=0.014 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 12 is a table (Table 2) that compares results according to an embodiment of the present invention with reported dependencies."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Senescu, Reid R. Method and System for Automatically Generating Information Dependencies. Filed January 3, 2013 and posted July 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1378&p=28&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140703.PD.&OS=PD/20140703&RS=PD/20140703

Keywords for this news article include: The Board of Trustees for the Leland Stanford Junior University.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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