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All Staff >> A to I
Rob Akscyn (Mr)


  • Room No: FG.1.01
  • Telephone: +64 7 838 4397
  • Extension: 4397
  • Facsimile: +64 7 858 5095
  • Email:

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Research Interests
All my activity in the fields I participate in - Hypertext/Hypermedia/Web, Digital Libraries, and Software Engineering - is centered on the problem of “Managing Knowledge In Organizations”. The core issue I focus on is “How best to speed up the production, dissemination, and use of knowledge”. [note that “knowledge” does not equal “documents”]

My work in this area began in 1978 at Carnegie Mellon University where I was a Senior Project Scientist. I worked with Allen Newell, Herb Simon and other colleagues on an early hypertext technology called ZOG. This work subsequently lead to the CARL VINSON Project - a 5-year project funded by the Office of Naval Research - to take the ZOG technology and ‘technology transfer’ it directly from the university environment to a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. This work subsequently led to the founding of my company, Knowledge Systems, in 1981 and the commercial development of KMS (Knowledge Management System) in 1983.

I have been President of Knowledge Systems since that time and performed work for a number of organizations in the defense, telecommunications and aerospace industries - including Boeing, General Electric, Hughes Aircraft, GTE, Kodak, Martin Marietta, National Drug Intelligence Center, National Security Agency, Software Engineering Institute, Texas Instruments, Westinghouse, Virginia Tech, US Army, US Navy, and the US Air Force.

I am a 1973 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a B.S. in Engineering, and I have a M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California.

I was an organizating member of the Dexter Group in 1987 -- the group which formulated the Dexter Model for hypertext - the principal formal model used for comparing and contrasting hypertext systems. The field of hypertext was among the first fields to define its core model using Z.

I’ve been a member of ACM since 1973, and founded SIGWEB, ACM’s Special Interest Group on Hypertext, Hypermedia, and the Web in 1991. I have been conference chair for three ACM conferences: Hypertext ’89, Hypertext ’98, and Digital Libraries ’98. In 1996, I recruited Ian Witten as my Program Chair for DL’98, and our intense, 18 month period of collaboration together for this conference was the original genesis of my becoming a visitor here in the department starting June of 2003.

I am willing to collaborate with anyone on any topic of interest to them.

Selected Publications
Akscyn, R., and Rana, Omer (2003) “Timelets: A data model for immense-scale, sub-second GIS”, NG2I: International Workshop on Next Generation Geospatial Information 19-21 October, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Akscyn, R., (1994) “Constructing a World-Scale Digital Library”, White paper for NIST ATP Focussed Program Development Workshop: “Networking, Telecommunications and Information Technology: The Requirements of U.S. Industry”, August.

Akscyn, R., McCracken, D. and E. Yoder (1998) “KMS: A Distributed Hypermedia System for Managing Knowledge in Organizations”, Communications of the ACM, July.

Akscyn, R., Yoder, E. and D. McCracken (1988) “The Data Model is the Heart of Interface Design”, In Proceedings of CHI ’88, ACM SIGCHI, May, Washington, D.C.

Akscyn, R. (Ed.) (1991) “ACM Hypertext Compendium”, [A hypertext database containing over 130 articles from the field of hypertext], ACM Press.

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