User modelling for knowledge sharing in e-mail communication
This thesis addresses the problem of sharing and transferring knowledge within knowledge-intensive organisations from a user modelling perspective with the purpose of improving individual and group performance. It explores the idea of creating organisational environments from which any of the users involved can benefit by being aware of each other such that sharing expertise between those who are knowledge providers and those who are knowledge seekers can be maximised. In order to encourage individuals to share such valuable expertise, it also explores the idea of keeping a balance between ensuring the availability of information and the increase in user workloads due to the need to handle unwanted information. In an attempt to demonstrate the ideas mentioned above, this research examines the application of user modelling techniques to the development of communication-based task learning systems based on e-mail communication. The design rationale for using e-mail is that personally held expertise is often explicated through e-mail exchanges since it provides a good source for extracting user knowledge. The provision of an automatic message categorisation system that combines knowledge acquired from both statistical and symbolic text learning techniques is one of the three themes of this work. The creation of a new user model that captures the different levels of expertise reflected in exchanged e-mail messages, and makes use of them in linking knowledge providers and knowledge seekers is the second. The design of a new information distribution method to reduce both information overload and underload is the third.