Abstract - The Information Society 13(1)

An approach to value-based modeling of information flows

Nabil Kamel, Murali Mohan Narasipuram, and Kranti Toraskar

This article presents a new approach to modeling information flows within today's information systems environments characterized by electronic commerce. We treat information as a resource whose value is fundamentally multidimensional in nature. In this article we consider the economic and psychological dimensions of the value of information. It is argued that it is meaningless to model the value of information in isolation away from the context and the specific parties between which this information is exchanged. We therefore focus exclusively on modeling information flows rather than information itself. To achieve this, we propose a formal framework for describing transactions involving information flows. The framework consists of a generalized model for representing information transactions and for defining a set of fundamental properties of multiparty transactions. These properties are fairness, constructiveness, and monopoly. Where applicable, they are defined for individuals, transactions, and a system of transactions. The proposed model reveals the nature of individual transactions and markets, and consequently has important implications for simulation of market scenarios and to help arrive at effective policies for pricing and market regulations.

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