The evaluation of a Case-Based Reasoner as a Tool to Facilitate Understanding of the Ethical and Professional Issues Invoked by failed IS Projects

Harjinder Rahanu,Jennifer Davies and Simon Rogerson

ETHICOMP Journal Vol 1 Issue 2


As part of on going research, cases of failed IS projects, including the London Stock Exchange TAURUS project, the London Ambulance Service Computer Aided Despatch System and similar have been ethically analysed. The results of the analyses determine whether and to what extent a neglect of professional ethics contributed towards their failure. This case library formed the basis for development of the case based reasoner, a technique used in computer science to incorporate intelligent reasoning into a system. A case based reasoner (CBR) computer system, which can offer ethical advice with reference to cases of failed IS projects was developed as a teaching tool. A questionnaire was developed to monitor usability issues so that ensuing feedback could be translated into modifications of the CBR prototype, as necessary. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the CBR as a teaching tool an experiment was conducted. The principle of the experiment was that two identical groups of students had been selected. The first (the experimental group) was given the CBR as a resource to complete an assignment and the other group (the control group) was not so that, with caveats, an increase in the quality of the students’ analyses might be a pointer as to whether the tool was facilitating learning.