Advanced Memory Buoyancy for Forgetful Information Systems


  • Christian Jilek DFKI GmbH & TU Kaiserslautern
  • Jessica Chwalek Computer Science Department, TU Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Sven Schwarz Smart Data & Knowledge Services Department, DFKI GmbH, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Markus Schröder Smart Data & Knowledge Services Department, DFKI GmbH, Kaiserslautern, Germany & Computer Science Department, TU Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Heiko Maus Smart Data & Knowledge Services Department, DFKI GmbH, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Andreas Dengel Smart Data & Knowledge Services Department, DFKI GmbH, Kaiserslautern, Germany & Computer Science Department, TU Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany



Semantic desktop, (Intentional) Forgetting, Information value assessment, User context, Information management and knowledge work support


Knowledge workers face an ever increasing flood of informa- tion in their daily lives. To counter this and provide better support for information management and knowledge work in general, we have been investigating solutions inspired by human forgetting since 2013. These solutions are based on Semantic Desktop (SD) and Managed Forgetting(MF) technology. A key concept of the latter is the so-called Memory Buoyancy (MB), which is intended to represent an information item’s current value for the user and allows to employ forgetting mechanisms. The SD thus continuously performs information value assessment up- dating MB and triggering respective MF measures. We extended an SD- based organizational memory system, which we have been using in daily work for over seven years now, with MF mechanisms directly embedding them in daily activities, too, and enabling us to test and optimize them in real-world scenarios.

In this paper, we first present our initial version of MB and discuss success and failure stories we have been experiencing with it during three years of practical usage. We learned from cognitive psychology that our previous research on context can be beneficial for MF. Thus, we created an advanced MB version especially taking user context, and in particular context switches, into account. These enhancements as well as a first prototypical implementation are presented, too.


Hevner, A.R., March, S.T., Park, J., Ram, Sudha: Design Science in Information Systems Research. MIS Q. 28, 75–105 (2004).

Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., Rothenberger, M.A., Chatterjee, S.: A Design Science Research Methodology for Information Systems Research. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 24, 45–77 (2007).

March, S.T., Smith, G.F.: Design and natural science research on information technology. Decis. Support Syst. 15, 251–266 (1995).

March, S.T., Storey, V.C.: Design science in the information systems dicipline: an introduction to the special issue on design science research. MIS Q. 32, 725–730 (2008).

Nunes, D.A., Schwabe, D.: Rapid Prototyping of Web Applications Combining Domain Specific Languages and Model Driven Design. Presented at the ICWE 2006 , Palo Alto, USA (2006).

Pop, D.-P., Altar, A.: Designing an MVC Model for Rapid Web Application Development. Procedia Eng. 69, 1172–1179 (2014).

Österle, H., Becker, J., Frank, U., Hess, T., Karagiannis, D., Krcmar, H., Loos, P., Mertens, P., Oberweis, A., Sinz, E.J.: Memorandum on design-oriented information systems research. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 20, 7–10 (2011).

Chen, P.P.-S.: The Entity-Relationship Model – Toward a Unified View of Data. ACM Trans. Database Syst. 1, 9–36 (1975).

Fowler, M., Scott, K.: UML Distilled – Applying the Standard Object Modeling Language. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1997).

Sonnenberg, C., vom Brocke, J.: Evaluations in the Science of the Artificial – Reconsidering the Build-Evaluate Pattern in Design Science Research. In: Peffers, K., Rothenberger, M., and Kuechler, B. (eds.) Design Science Research in Information Systems. Advances in Theory and Practice. pp. 381–397. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg (2012).

Bjork, R.A.: Positive forgetting: The noninterference of items intentionally forgotten. J. Verbal Learn. Verbal Behav. 9, 255–268 (1970).

Bjork, R.A., Woodward, A.E.: Directed forgetting of individual words in free recall. J. Exp. Psychol. 99, 22–27 (1973).

Bjork, E.L., Bjork, R.A.: Intentional forgetting can increase, not decrease, residual influences of to-be-forgotten information. J. Exp. Psychol. Learn. Mem. Cogn. 29, 524–531 (2003).

Thielsch, M.T., Meeßen, S.M., Hertel, G.: Trust and distrust in information systems at the workplace. PeerJ. 6:e6483, 1–26 (2018).



How to Cite

Jilek, C., Chwalek, J., Schwarz, S., Schröder, M., Maus, H. and Dengel, A. 2019. Advanced Memory Buoyancy for Forgetful Information Systems. AIS Transactions on Enterprise Systems. 4, 1 (May 2019). DOI: