Dicodess - A Software Framework for Developing Distributed Cooperative Decision Support Systems

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The free manual distributed with Dicodess contains the complete text of the first three chapters of the book Building Model-Driven Decision Support Systems with Dicodess, published by vdf publishing in Zurich, Switzerland.

These three chapters cover in about 50 pages all the topics you need to get started with Dicodess, from the installation process to the use of an example DSS in a distributed environnement.

However, Dicodess is much more than that! The book contains nine other chapters and two appendices covering all the details of the software framework. It teaches you how to use Dicodess as a DSS generator to build your own model-based, distributed DSS without writing a single line of program code. It even teaches advanced programmers how to extend the Dicodess platform to add new functionalities to it. You can do it! Dicodess is open source!

If you want to get past the basics of Dicodess, whether you are a DSS teacher, a student, a model expert, or a DSS designer, buy the book and learn how to master this exciting platform -- besides, this is the best way to support our open source efforts!

The book can be bought online in paperback or as an Adobe e-book:
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Dicodess Book

 Organization and Content


The book consists of 4 parts, 13 chapters, and 2 appendixes:

Part I, Fundamentals, introduces Dicodess as an application. These chapters focus on the installation of the software framework from an end-user perspective and propose a quick start tutorial. It is especially targeted at MIS students and/or MIS teachers willing to use Dicodess in their classes, but can be useful for anybody new to Dicodess.

Chapter 1, Installation
Briefly describes the components of the Dicodess framework and their installation on a desktop PC.
Chapter 2, Quick Start Tutorial
Introduces the basic functionality of Dicodess with an example DSS, in a single user, standalone context.
Chapter 3, Using Dicodess in a Multi-Users Environment
Introduces the distributed functionality of Dicodess in a multi-users environment.
Chapter 4, Turning an optimization model into a DDSS
Explain how a normal optimization model written in LPL can be turned into a distributed DSS.

 Motivation and Context

motivation and context

Part II, Motivation and Context, discusses more thoroughly the context and goals of Dicodess as a DSS generator. These chapters provide information about decision support systems in general, as well as the specific areas covered by Dicodess. It also describes the theoretical contributions provided by Dicodess to the DSS community. This part is especially targeted at model experts willing to turn their optimization models into user friendly DSS and DSS designers wanting to extend the software framework to build distributed DSS. However, the content of these chapters is general enough to be read by anyone.

Chapter 5, Motivation
Introduces the motivation, purpose, research context and contribution of the Dicodess project.
Chapter 6, Decision Support Systems
Brief ly describes IT systems known as decision support systems.
Chapter 7, Software Frameworks for Developing DSS
Describes a new component in the classification of DSS development tools. This represents a first theoretical contribution of this research to the DSS community.
Chapter 8, A New Vision for Distributed DSS
Describes the theoretical foundations of Dicodess as a framework for developing distributed DSS. This is a second contribution of this research to the DSS community.
Chapter 9, Cooperative DSS
Positions distributed DSS in the broad field of cooperation/collaboration systems.


Implementation and Case Study


Part III, Implementation and Case Study, describes the elaboration and construction phases of Dicodess as a software framework. It also explains how this software framework is being applied to a real-world problem in order to build a DSS. This part is especially targeted at DSS builders needing to understand the inner structure of the Dicodess architecture, to use and/or extend it.

Chapter 10, A Software Layer for Building Distributed DSS
Provides a technical description of the bottom layer of the Dicodess framework, which formalizes the communication structures between working environments. Topics including technology requirements, basic design choices, and distributed events are covered in this chapter. The Jini and JavaSpaces technologies are also presented here.
Chapter 11, A Software Layer for Developing Cooperative DSS
Provides a technical description of the upper layer of the Dicodess framework, which focuses on cooperation and decision support. The three main concepts shaping this layer are a use case model, distributed decision support objects, and object managers.
Chapter 12, The Virtual Twin of the DSS User
Offers a definitive view of the working environment described in Chapter 8, wrapping the fundamental concepts of network capabilities, computing capabilities and working memory in a more general abstraction layer called the virtual twin of the DSS user.

Chapter 13, Extending the Dicodess framework
Explains how to modify the code of Dicodess to extend the overall software framework and tailor it according to the needs of a DSS builder.

Part IV, Appendixes, contains supporting material.

Appendix A, Class Structure of the Framework
Overview of the packages and classes of the Dicodess framework.
Appendix B, Licenses
Licensing terms of the various components used in the Dicodess framework.