Ben Jennings of University College London had the last presentation slot of the day, wherein he classified a duck using both hierarchical classification and protoype theory. He was successful using both methods, although identified the inherent flaws in hierarchical classification.
The point, however, is about the nature of classification systems: hierarchical classification systems can lead to issues due to errors when creating the taxonomy, whereas prototype methods have more dynamic boundaries.
His research is around gestural analysis of micro workflows: essentially a sort of process discovery, wherein the actions of people in unstructured expertise-driven processes (that is, processes that involve domain experts) are analyzed within a social context in order to establish a reputational representation of the agents that can be used to find the best person to assign to a task. In other words, rather than having a process designer manually pre-determine who does which task, knowledge about the task and the people who might best perform that task can be determined as required based on the human social behavior around past process instances.
Gestural analysis in this context considers both active gestures – such as the explicit creation of content – and passive gestures – such as who a person emails in order to help solve a problem, or blog commenting behavior. It considers both the things that people create, and the people who create them.
This has the greatest value in tasks that have high complexity and high uncertainty, wherein an adhocracy tends to apply, although these tasks may be embedded within a more traditional structured process.