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Rising operating costs and structural transformations such as resizing and globalization of companies all over the world have brought into focus the emerging discipline of knowledge management as one of the ways to raise productivity and profitability. Knowledge management is concerned with creating, maintaining and exploiting ``knowledge infrastructures'', and ``organizational knowledge cultures'', and ``making knowledge pay off''[Pasahow1996]. Corporate Memories can play a crucial enabling role in making all this happen. Corporate memory represents the collective data and knowledge resources of a company including project experiences, problem solving expertise, design rationale etc.

In this paper, we discuss how viewing corporate memories as distributed case libraries can benefit from existing techniques for distributed cases based reasoning for resource discovery and exploitation of previous expertise. While it may not be the case that all resources in a company are amenable to this view, insofar as we can view a resource as a case base, we can exploit techniques developed in multi-agent systems and case-based reasoning communities to build powerful tools for knowledge access and manipulation. We present two techniques developed in the context of multi-agent case-based reasoning for accessing and exploiting past experience from corporate memory resources, that by their very nature are distributed. The first approach, called Negotiated Retrieval[Nagendra Prasad, Lesser, &Lander1996][Nagendra Prasad, Lesser, &Lander1995], deals with retrieving and assembling ``case pieces'' from different resources in a corporate memory to form a good overall case. The second approach, based on Federated Peer Learning[Plaza, Arcos, &Mart´n1996], deals with two modes of cooperation called DistCBR and ColCBR that let an agent exploit the experience and expertise of peer agents to achieve a local task.
Mon Sep 16 17:23:45 EDT 1996