Temporal Convergence for Knowledge Management

Christopher Phillip Martin, Wayne Philp, William P Hall


Time and knowledge have tended to be conceptualised in conventional knowledge management systems as either ‘timeless’ recordings of procedures, or time-stamped records of past events and states. The concept of temporal convergence was previously developed to help apply knowledge-management theory to complex military processes such as commander’s intent, shared situation awareness, and self-synchronisation. This paper clarifies the concept and introduces several others in forming a framework to assist discussion and exploration of the types of knowledge required for complex endeavours, such as warfighting, characterised by opposition and uncertainty. The approach is grounded in a pragmatist philosophy and constructivist epistemology. Argument proceeds along mathematical lines from a basis that the types of knowledge most valuable to goal-directed agents in uncertain environments can be modelled as directed graph topologies. The framework is shown to be useful in describing and reasoning about the knowledge requirements and prerequisites for distributed decision-making through the sharing of situational knowledge and common intentions, with practical application to the planning and execution of operations. To the designers of knowledge management systems seeking to address this space, it presents a challenge that cannot be addressed merely by construction, storage, search and retrieval of documents and records pertaining to the past.


temporal convergence; temporal divergence; stochastic future; intentional future; situation image bifurcation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v15i2.207

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