Yet Another Interdisciplinary Researcher


Statement of Research

H. Kemal Ilter

I am an interdisciplinary researcher who is trying to understand business environments in a socio-technical way to be able to create value for society. I am working on some topics with a theoretical way to create conceptual frameworks and a practical way to simulate these frameworks. My research interests lie at the intersection of information systems, operations management, and operations research.

Supply Chain Ontology, Language, and Business Analytics

I am currently working on the second stage of my copyrighted project, Multi-Layer Ontological Model for Supply Chain Systems (SCOM©). The main purpose of the project is developing a detailed supply chain blueprint as a knowledge base to see and control its overall value while planning, creating, controlling, managing, optimizing, or even regulating a supply chain. Addition to the business focus, some chains need more attention to involve by means of their suppliers like in the chains of blood diamond or rubber production; some chains need more security to prevent the crime such as in organ trade, narcotics, or human trafficking; some others need more speed to deliver important materials like in emergencies or natural disasters.

Therefore, we need to manage any supply chain efficiently for raising its overall value or decreasing its destruction. The project consists of three stages; building an ontology, SCOM, creating a markup language, SCML, and establishing various business intelligence tools (SCD, OOSC, ViSC).

  • Stage 1 - Multi-Layer Ontological Model for Supply Chain Systems (SCOM©) is the first part of the project which attempts to create a domain-specific ontology. It includes ontological properties such as a dictionary, a relational schema for elements and a logical framework. SCOM also includes ontology diagrams for understanding the concept easily.
  • Stage 2 - Supply Chain Markup Language (SCML) is the second part of the project which attempts to create a markup language based on XML. It includes a coding system (XSCML) and a parser (PARSX). XSCML is an application of XML markup language for describing supply chain elements and capturing both its structure and content.
  • Stage 3 - Business Intelligence Tools combines all project elements into a business intelligence dashboard, SCD. SCD behaves as a decision-maker interface for related supply chain and reveals its content for all agents and third parties. It has core abilities to produce web-ready information about the chain and its data. SCD also can do optimization in a scientific sense with well-proofed theories from the SCM literature via OOSC (Overall Optimization of the Supply Chain). Visualization of the Supply Chain, ViSC, is another important part of the SCD, provides hands-on experience to create a supply chain by coding.

My ongoing plan is to complete the third stage of the project in the next years with three extensions: (a) History of a supply chain which is embedded in the SCOM as a layer, (b) geographical information which is modelled as a layer, (c) SCOM wallpaper as a physical decision tool.

Metaphors from Biology and Physics

Evolutionary biologists (Sewall Wright, Stuart Kauffman, Ernst Walter Mayr, etc.) and theoretical physicists (Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, etc.) continue to influence my world-view as a researcher although they are in very different scientific fields than mine.

The fitness landscape (adaptive landscape) term is used to visualize the relationship between genotypes and reproductive processes (i.e. fitness) in evolutionary biology. I am using this concept in various cases (eg. analyzing strategic decision-making processes in an organization or revealing effects of world-class manufacturing applications on firm performance or comparing various supply chains in the same industry) through Stuart Kauffman’s NK model.

Gravity (gravitation) is the weakest of the four fundamental interactions of nature. I am using this concept to determine the influence area (field) of technology in an industry or success diffusion of a company in a specific market. My approach (based on Einstein’s field equations in which gravity is the curvature of spacetime) is different from Huff’s Gravity Model (based on the Newtonian gravitation in which gravity force acts instantaneously over distance).

I want to continue the process of seeking a natural phenomenon to describe real-life business environments in the next years.

Information Systems/Information Technologies

I am currently planning a project which is about the global cost of information resources with extensions of managing computational waste and recycling machines.

Another topic I am thinking for a long time is the relationship between culture and information systems. I have couple of working papers in which trying to focus namely Not about technology, it is culture: A critical view of information systems (cultural differences and effects on information systems) and Intelligent Agent is Better Than Man: An Evolutionary Point of View (introducing an evolutionary scientific view from human to cyborg to robot).

I am curious about and continue to research on (a) the tracking/tracing possibilities of a product in micro-level (other than fuel markers) in related real-life situations and possibility to apply it on high-end product tracing/tracking information systems; (b) possibility to create the fifth state of the matter (informational state, state contains information about the product/the matter itself). In the last 5-year period of the next decade, I want to focus on these ideas.

Developing the Supply Chains for the Future: Interplanetary Supply Chains

I think some new approaches will be needed for Interplanetary Supply Chain Management soon. There are too many extraterrestrial factors to change traditional SCM thinking. New constraints should be considered such as Time (response time, production time, transportation time, return time, position of planets, best effective travel course, using planets to speed up, etc.), Environment (space conditions, packaging for space, keeping product quality, cargo space, cargo vulnerability, etc.), Operation complexity, Cost of gravity, etc.

Next decade I am going to work on this topic with various half-baked ideas/workings/articles like Martian supply chains, An Offensive Comparison: Classical vs Futuristic Supply Chain Perspectives, Interplanetary Operations Management: The Next Generation, Production in Space, and Space factories.

Business Simulation Lab

Scientists can use various approaches while seeking an answer to problems: Analyzing historical data, Observing a situation which is occurring in nature, Creating an artificial environment (a laboratory) to simulate a particular situation in a limited framework, etc. I think we need a general-purpose simulation laboratory in the business research field to simulate agents, teams, companies, or even industries, markets and economies.

The main mission of the business simulation lab is to facilitate quantitative research for advancing the study of complex human decision-making and, therefore, influence innovation in problem-solving and business model development. Researchers utilize this lab to be able to create and simulate models, present realistic business situations and analyze agents’ behavior in light of mathematical models. Through the use of the business simulation lab, researchers can also able to test complex theories in a controlled environment. I wish to establish such a lab in the next couple of years.