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To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No
Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes
Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes
Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes
Was it of at least regional importance? Yes
Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes
Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes
Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes
Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes
Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:
Title of the proposed milestone:
URUCIB – Real-time Information for the Presidency of the Republic - 1988
Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:
URUguay CIBernético was a pioneering Executive Information System designed and implemented for the Uruguayan President's office, and later exported and implemented in other countries. The system created a data network and incorporated advanced cybernetic modelling and statistical techniques to detect incipient instabilities in the country’s situation. It had an intuitive graphical human interface allowing decision making based on the entire information daily available at the President´s office Management Center.
In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?
IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:
IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):
Unit: Uruguay Section
Senior Officer Name: Alfredo Arnaud
IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:
Unit: Uruguay Section
Senior Officer Name: Alfredo Arnaud
IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):
IEEE Section: Uruguay Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Alfredo Arnaud
Proposer name: Juan Carlos Miguez
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public
Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.
Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):
ASSE: Avda. Dr. Luis A. de Herrrera 3626, Montevideo, Uruguay coordinates 34°52'11.7"S 56°09'57.6"W A second plaque will be placed at the present site of the Presidency, Plaza Independencia 710 .-
Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.
Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. It was the site of the Presidency; now is the Administration of the Public Health System
Are the original buildings extant?
Details of the plaque mounting:
How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?
Who is the present owner of the site(s)?
Government of Uruguay
What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?
Using cutting edge principles form cybernetics and starting from scratch, an Executive Information System was designed, built and put into service for the Presidency of the Republica Oriental del Uruguay. With the only precedent being a frustrated one in Chile couple of years before, this concept of on-line information for decision making was truly revolutionary. In 1985 there was no Internet, there were no cell phones -it was the pre-history of the computer and information revolution. In Uruguay, the most important utilities and services are public, belong to the State and ultimately report to the presidency. Information and key indicatives from the government units was mostly only available through delayed yearly reports. From the private sector the situation was the same -or worse. After years of dictatorship, the idea was to give to the Executive Power, daily, almost real-time information of key variables to evaluate the situation of the country, incorporating early-detection of possible problems and making rational decisions possible.
URUCIB intended, with a visionary attitude, to give this new democratic Government, a state-of-the-art tool. Man-machine interaction would be able to extend the senses of government to the places where the most relevant information about present-day state of the country was available. The challenge was to access the sources of this information, from different public and private origins, transmit it, process it, filter it through statistical programs and present it easily and understandably through numbers and graphics on computer screens installed in a Management Center that would be placed right in the Office of the President. It would be navigated with a remote control simpler than that of a television set. With this information, the government could monitor the country's progress, anticipate possible problems and simulate possible scenarios. Today all this may seem obvious, but then it was an absolute novelty, and as with any innovation whose theoretical and technical assumptions are unknown to ordinary mortals, looked like an act of magic. The United Nations program for development (PNUD) gave monetary help; the distinguished british cybernetician Prof. Stafford Beer was contracted as advisor. President Dr. Julio María Sanguinetti gave his enthusiastic support and project leader Ing. Victor Ganon and his dedicated team were instrumental in the trailblazing design and successful implementation of the System.
The interest aroused by URUCIB in Latin America caused the system to be exported to the Argentine Republic and the Republic of Nicaragua, where it was used for many years. In Argentina it was installed in the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires (Governor Antonio Cafiero) and in the Presidency of the Republic (President Carlos Menem). In Nicaragua it was installed in the Presidency of the Republic (President Violeta Chamorro). In Uruguay, systems were configured for Government Agencies which adopted the System and also used it for many years, notably the BPS (Social Security Bank).
What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?
There were numerous obstacles that URUCIB had to overcome. To begin with, at that time, 1985-88, there was no data network in Uruguay that allowed the transmission of the information originated in the Agencies to the Presidency. A private data network was therefore created, using the telex network infrastructure, which was 100% digital, dessigned and built in the country.
Secondly, it was necessary to develop all the programming to process and filter the information received (circa 1200 time series) and to detect incipient instabilities in it. Based on the work of Harrison and Steven, a Multiprocess Dynamic Linear Growth Model was used. The kernel that made up for the statistical model was enlarged with a Decision Scheme allowing to detect changes automatically, without inspecting the probability values resulting from the model´s application.
Finally, a new interactive environment for group decision-making called Management Center had to be created. Although Windows was not available at that time, and MS-DOS had to be used, the whole System used a graphical representation of quantified facts, written in C language, and placed an emphasis on ergonomics and on the facility of use and learning of the man-machine interface.
Given the multi and interdisciplinary character of the project, there were frictions originated by the different approaches to reality on the part of persons coming from various disciplines. This was solved to a great extent through mechanisms for the management of the project.
Last but not least, the project suffered from a confrontation with the bureaucratic structures of the agencies that provided the information to the Presidency. Eight months before the inauguration of the system, resistance to URUCIB at the top management levels of state agencies peaked. Discarding an authoritarian approach, dialogue was chosen and each party expressed their views, so that, by way of synthesis, discrepancies, fears, uncertainties and doubts could be elicited, and the relationship between URUCIB and the agencies that provided information to the system was established on very solid and legitimate bases vis-à-vis the political level.
What features set this work apart from similar achievements?
1.- Organizational Model
Prof. Stafford Beer´s cybernetic organizational model called Viable System Model (VSM) was selected for the project. This model turned out to be a powerful tool for the description and diagnosis of most of the agencies considered.
2.- Evolutionary prototype This was a fundamental feature and a permanent guiding principle during the life of the project. The decision was taken to achieve concrete results in defined periods of time, postponing some desired refinements for future versions.
3.- Usage of Statistics
Following a suggestion from Prof. Beer, Harrison and Stevens´s linear growth model was used in the design of an early warning System. It monitors the behavior of the time series and their trends. This feature is seldom found in todays business analytics systems.
The Statistical treatment of information also provided:
* Early detection of change in the structure of the times series.
* Time series transformation facilities.
* Automatic information storage and processing.
* Facilities for the description and analysis of time series.
4.- Some Operational components of URUCIB specially designed ant built for the project:
- A data communications network through which the Presidency was able to receive, in real time and automatically, the information originated in the agencies.
- A data base of time series, of different periodicity and with qualitative information, for a multiuser environment.
- A set of programs providing the statistical processing of the information received in real time, generating warnings of incipient changes, called News.
- A new interactive environment for group decision-making called Management Centre. It was possible to visualize chronological data in graphic form together with contextual information.
5.- Project team
The entire design and development of URUCIB was carried out by a team of Uruguayan professionals (economists, accountants, engineers, programmers, statisticians), led by Ing. Victor Ganón, using the consultancy and advice of the english cybernetician Prof. Stafford Beer.
Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.
Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.
Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to email@example.com with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).