What is the history of AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS?

by Dan Power

AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS refers to the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Special Interest Group (SIG) on Decision Support, Knowledge and Data Management Systems (DSS): The International Society for Decision Support Systems (ISDSS).

Approximately 20% of the subscribers to Decision Support (aka DSS) News have some sort of University connection and hence are probably familiar with the alphabet soup of AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS. This response is directed at that segment of the readership in business, industry, not-for-profit organizations and government who read DSS News and wonder about what is going on in the Decision Support Systems research world.

The Association for Information Systems ( is "the premier global organization for academics specializing in Information Systems." AIS is an "international organization that seeks to identify, extend, unify, and communicate knowledge in information technology (IT), systems (IS), and management (IM)." Since its founding in 1994, a number of Information Systems groups have merged with AIS.

In January 2001, the ISWorld mailing list announced that the Association for Information Systems Board of Directors had decided to create Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in broadly defined IS research areas and requested proposals. My Ask Dan! in the DSS News of February 11, 2001, sought responses from people interested in forming an "AIS special interest group related to data management and decision support". The Ask Dan! column of March 3, 2002 summarizes the founding of SIG DSS.  AIS Council approved SIG DSS in mid-December 2001. Six AIS members, S. Alter, J. Courtney, R. Sharda, V. Sugumaran, M. Turoff, and H. Watson, joined Daniel Power in submitting the proposal for SIG DSS that was approved. Dan Power served as Founding Chair and Ramesh Sharda was the initial Secretary/Treasurer of SIGDSS.

In Fall 2002, the SIG DSS leadership team was expanded to include Paul Gray (Claremont) as Founding Past Chair, Mike Goul (ASU) as Vice Chair, and Karen "Dowling" Corral (ASU) as Program Chair. At that time the scope was broadened to include knowledge management.

In Fall 2003, the by-laws of AIS SIG DSS were in the drafting process and an agreement was reached to merge the International Society for Decision Support Systems (ISDSS) with SIG DSS. As part of the merger, Clyde Holsapple (U. Kentucky) and Andrew Winston (U. Texas-Austin) joined the SIG DSS Advisory Board and in December 2003 AIS Council accepted our group's by-laws formally creating AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS.

ISDSS was founded in 1989 by Professors Holsapple, Whinston and others "to promote an active flow of ideas and knowledge among persons working in decision support systems and related fields." The International Society for Decision Support Systems (ISDSS) was the first international society devoted to the advancement of decision support system research, practice, and education. In pursuing these goals, ISDSS organized a number of international conferences with refereed papers, plenary speakers and structured idea exchanges. The conferences had registration caps of 80-90 attendees and sought the best of current thinking on DSS topics.   The first conference, ISDSS'90, was held at the University of Texas, in Austin, Texas in September 1990. The second ISDSS Conference was held in Ulm, Germany in May 1992 with the theme "Exploring the Next Generation of Decision Support Systems". Professor Dr. F. J. Radermacher chaired the meeting. In 1995 the 3rd International Society for Decision Support Systems conference was held in Hong Kong, June 22-23, 1995. The conference was held at the University of Science and Technology. Prof. Tung Bui was the program chair.

ISDSS'97, the 4th Conference of the International Society for Decision Support Systems was held at the Ecole des HEC, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, July 21-22 1997. Prof. Andy Boynton (IMD, Switzerland) and Prof. Yves Pigneur (Ecole des HEC of The University of Lausanne, Switzerland) were the co-chairs.

The Fifth International Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia July 20-23, 1999. The theme was "Decision Support in the New Millennium". The Conference Chair was Prof. Frada Burstein, Monash University, Australia.  The Program Co-Chairs were Tung X. Bui, University of Hawaii, USA and David Arnott, Monash University, Australia.

The 6th ISDSS Conference (ISDSS'01) was held July 2-4, 2001, London, United Kingdom.  Carolyn Bailey and Rosa Scoble, Department of Information Systems and Computing at Brunel University, were the ISDSS'01 Conference Organisers.

In 2003, the 7th international conference (ISDSS'03) was held in Ustron, Poland July 13-16, 2003. The theme was "DSS in the Uncertainty of the Internet Age". The conference was hosted by the Department of Computer Science of the Karol Adamiecki University of Economics in Katowice, Poland. The Conference Chair was Tung X. Bui, University of Hawaii, and the Conference Co-Chair was Henryk Sroka, University of Economics in Katowice, Poland. I had the honor of serving as a keynote speaker.

The 8th International Conference for AIS SIG DSS: the International Society for Decision Support Systems (ISDSS'05) with the theme is "Trends in DSS Research and Practice". The conference was held July 12-15, 2005 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It is hosted by the School of Management of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). The Conference Chair is Denis Borenstein, UFRGS, and Program co-chairs, Frada Burstein, Monash University, Australia and Joćo Luiz Becker, UFRGS. More information can be found at the conference homepage. This was the first AIS SIGDSS International conference.

AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS sponsored a major program track at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS'05) in Omaha, Nebraska, August 11-14, chaired by Karen Corral (ASU). The track included 8 mini-tracks. Check Karen was elected Vice Chair of AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS and began serving July 1, 2005. 

Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2005) chaired by Prof. Tung Bui, University of Hawaii, included tracks on Decision Support, Collaborative Technologies, and Knowledge Management. PACIS (2005) was in Bangkok, Thailand, July 7-10, 2005.

So if you are interested in fostering and participating in the evolution of the Decision Support, Data and Knowledge Management field, you should become a member of SIGDSS: The International Society for Decision Support Systems. This is a broad based international group that provides a home for professors and Information Systems practioners. AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS will benefit from your help and support.


Power, D., "What is SIG DSS?", DSS News, Vol. 3, No. 5, March 3, 2002. See

Power, D.,
What is the history of AIS SIG DSS: ISDSS? DSS News, Vol. 6, No. 11, May 8, 2005

The above response was originally published May 8, 2005 and was modified February 13, 2014.

Last update: 2014-03-01 02:46
Author: Daniel Power

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