Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Discovering Hidden Tasks and Process Structure through Email Logs for DSM

Lijun Lan
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore Singapore
Ying Liu
School of Engineering, Cardiff University, UK United Kingdom
Wen Feng Lu
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore Singapore


The design structure matrix (DSM) method is a powerful network modelling tool to highlight the system architecture via presenting the interactions between the elements comprising a system. In DSM, measuring the interaction strength between elements is the first and crucial step. However, since the system elements are generally pre-identified by experts, their interaction relationships are often obtained from experts’ evaluation, which is time consuming and error-prone. To address this critical issue, in this paper, we aim to discover the hidden tasks of a process and their interactions from email logs with domain-specific contents. To this purpose, we have proposed a three-stage numerical DSM modeling approach, where text mining and clustering techniques are studied to discover hidden tasks. Furthermore, a metric concerning the measurement of interaction strength based on the overlapping time and the volume of exchanged information is presented. A case study is provided based on the emails collected from a design project.

Keywords: DSM ,process structure ,interaction strength ,email log ,text mining ,clustering ,



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