1. How would you describe the Smartwave application? – Is it a DSS Generator or a Specific DSS? Also, is it a Descriptive Model or a Normative Model? Please justify your viewpoint.
Smartwave is an application to help diagnose and rectify the problems with wave soldering of PCB joints thus helping the manufacturing plant increasing the process yields. This makes Smartwave a specific DSS as it provides solutions for a very specific problem.
Smartwave follows a Normative model of decision making as it tends to provide the best possible solution to the problem under the assumption that the expert has fed all available knowledge into the system. The system follows a question answer dialogue style and asks the operator to feed answers to the various questions based on the previous responses of the operator. The system then generates the solution it considers the most probable and also provides the solutions to the problem along with the probabilities of them working.
2. Please elaborate on the sources of unstructuredness in the concerned decision situation.
The Smartwave application was very structured in its approach owing to its question answer dialogue style. This allows the system to form a decision tree and thus evaluate the problem with a predefined structure. The major source of unstructuredness for this system was the inputs provided by the user specially the starting check list of defects. As mentioned the defects were very similar and quite difficult to differentiate and took about 2 weeks for the operator to get used to them and upto 6 months to develop an intuitive feeling. Thus the input of the operator was subject to being unstructured. Following that, the system asked the operator a series of questions most of which were very standard and thus didn’t involve much unstructuredness. Thus the major source of unstructuredness for the system came from the operator and his understanding of the process.
3. Please discuss the Implementation Strategy adopted by Cross and his team.
4. In your view, was the Smartwave application an appropriate initiative to undertake? Please justify your point of view.
Yes, Smartwave was a very appropriate initiative for the team at DEC to undertake. The application easily checked all the items on the list