Magnus Ramage (Department of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
David Chapman (Department of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Chris Bissell (Department of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 2 March 2015


Ramage, M., Chapman, D. and Bissell, C. (2015), "Editorial", Kybernetes, Vol. 44 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-02-2015-0054



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Kybernetes, Volume 44, Issue 3.

We begin this editorial by informing readers that our contacts and colleagues at Emerald, our publishing company, have changed. Our publisher for the past year has been Emma Bruun, who has now left Emerald; we thank her for her work and support of the journal this year. Our publisher will henceforth once again be Wendy Alderton, who previously held this role, and we welcome Wendy back. Wendy is the point of contact at Emerald for all strategic or wide-range matters concerned with the journal.

Our Content Editor continues to be Laura Wilson, who handles all matters concerned with specific papers, from their submission to their publication. (This role was previously referred to as “managing editor” – the name has changed but the role remains the same.) We are grateful to Laura for her ongoing help and support in producing issue after issue of the journal.

There are ten refereed papers in this issue:

Bian, Hu and Xu look at a specific case of decision making which can be analysed with the widely used method of data envelopment analysis. Their interest is in the efficiencies of decision-making systems with subsystems operating in parallel but with shared inputs and outputs. After presenting their specific approach to such systems, they use it to analyse the decision-making processes of 18 Chinese railway organisations, and compare the efficiency of decision making of these firms.

Foss analyses the behaviour of swarms of honey bees, considered as a self-organising information network, based on Stafford Beer’s viable systems theory. Although honey bees have been widely studied as a social system, their information gathering processes have not been studied, making this paper innovative. The bulk of the paper is concerned with the analysis, but the author observes that lessons may be applicable to human groups.

Choudhury presents a theory of ethics based on integrity, which he defines as “steadfastness of goodness”. While it is clear that personal integrity leads to highly ethical behaviour, the author also analyses its importance through the lenses of game theory and logic as well as philosophy, and looks at its relevance to social systems as well as individual ethics.

Östermark discusses the understanding of financial risk in large-scale capital investments. The author uses mathematical modelling to consider such investments, seen as a case of mixed-integer non-linear optimisation problems. The nature of the risk involved of these investments is modelled using complex parallel processing.

Akgul, Gozlu and Tatoglu write from within the field of operations management, and look at the links between operations strategy, environmental dynamism and organisational performance within Turkish manufacturing firms. Their study is based on a survey of the largest manufacturing firms in Turkey, drawing on a set of hypotheses. They conclude that environmental dynamism is significantly related to operational strategy, and they examine the implications of their conclusions.

Jia and Kefan discuss the coordination of emergency supplies during disaster relief situations, given the need for appropriate supplies to be delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible. They describe the workflows needed and decisions to be made in determining appropriate supplies, and then use Petri nets to model ways to make these decisions more effectively. They apply their method to a case study of an earthquake which occurred in Lushan, China in 2013.

Yen, Ma, Yeh and Chang look at an issue in manufacturing – acceptance sampling, the process of deciding quality of a batch of products based on a sample. They have developed a new economic model for variable sampling based on one-sided capability indices, which they outline in the paper. They illustrate their method with a numerical example.

El Kashef, Hassan, Mahar and Fahmy draw an analogy between the taste receptors in the human tongue and the use of sign language. After discussing the five major taste receptors, they describe the construction of a clustering and classification model to classify different tastes. The authors then proceed to apply the same model to the classification of different finger positions in American Sign Language, and use a brief experiment to demonstrate the usefulness of such an approach.

Li, Yuan and Xu present a study of knowledge management. They begin by observing that a significant issue in many organisations is finding the appropriate knowledge needed to work on the next task. They seek to assist this issue through the analysis of texts codifying relevant knowledge, using a multi-granularity fuzzy linguistic method. Using this approach they build a model of knowledge recommendations for further tasks, which they experimentally verify.

Yang, Wang, Zhou and Zhou discuss mathematical models for the optimisation of strategies to prevent epidemics, in circumstances of constrained resources. They draw upon and extend the widely used susceptible-infectious-recovered model, treating the issue as an optimal control problem. As well as introducing and justifying their model mathematically, they explore the sensitivity of the model under various conditions of resource constraint.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Magnus Ramage, David Chapman and Chris Bissell