Reflection on the natural/artificial, real/imaginary, subjective/objective dicotomies is increasingly the subject of debate on systems of communication, which make more and more widespread use of expert and/or intelligent advanced technologies.This paper analyses different forms of communication operating in a socio-technical system. The analysis is concerned with changes in creativity and participation of the human being in the decision and production processes within various contexts of social life. It is thus important to verify the possibility of an interpolation (...) between vital world, social system, and information technologies in order to understand a possible interrelation between therational and therelational components in the presentsocio-technical system. (shrink)
This article discusses ways to operationalise the concept of culturally appropriate computer-mediated communication, utilising information systems (IS) development methodologies and adopting a postmodern and postcolonial perspective. By way of illustration, it describes progress on the participative development of the Ieramugadu Cultural Information System. This project is designed to develop and evaluate innovative procedures for elicitation, analysis, storage and communication of indigenous cultural heritage information. It is investigating culturally appropriate IS design techniques, multimedia approaches and ways to ensure (...) protection of secret/sacred information. Ethical issues are foregrounded. (shrink)
Expert Systems (ES) are as yet imperfectly defined. Their two consistently cited characteristics are domain knowledge and expert-level performance. We propose that current structural definitions are inadequate and suggest a view of ES as communication channels. We proceed to explore the factors influencing applicability of ES technology to an enterprise and the impacts that could be expected. A consequence of this view is the idea of incremental information loss on the path from the expert to the ES user. (...) Strategies for minimizing this loss derive naturally from our perspective and are evident in successful ES. (shrink)
This conceptual paper addresses Management Accounting and Control Systems (MACS) from a communication process perspective as opposed to a functionaldesign perspective. Its arguments originate from a social-constructionist perspective on the organization. Its line of argument is that building a social theoryof a social phenomenon such as MACS, demands that attention be paid to the characteristics of the communication process. An existing theoretical frameworkthat does the same is Giddens’ structuration theory, but it is only partly satisfactory because it (...) refuses to consider communication-as-interaction from a dynamiccontextual perspective, instead falling back on an argument related to the behavioural aspects of agency. An alternative is a semiotic-based communicationperspective that includes context as well as addresses the epistemological level of a MACS theory based on communication. The semiotic model of Jakobson is provided and developed as a specific alternative. (shrink)
We present a framework for verifying systems composed of heterogeneous reasoning agents, in which each agent may have differing knowledge and inferential capabilities, and where the resources each agent is prepared to commit to a goal (time, memory and communication bandwidth) are bounded. The framework allows us to investigate, for example, whether a goal can be achieved if a particular agent, perhaps possessing key information or inferential capabilities, is unable (or unwilling) to contribute more than a given portion (...) of its available computational resources or bandwidth to the problem. We present a novel temporal epistemic logic, BMCL-CTL , which allows us to describe a set of reasoning agents with bounds on time, memory and the number of messages they can exchange. The bounds on memory and communication are expressed as axioms in the logic. As an example, we show how to axiomatise a system of agents which reason using resolution and prove that the resulting logic is sound and complete. We then show how to encode a simple system of reasoning agents specified in BMCL-CTL in the description language of the Mocha model checker (Alur et al., Proceedings of the tenth international conference on computer-aided verification (CAV) , 1998), and verify that the agents can achieve a goal only if they are prepared to commit certain time, memory and communication resources. (shrink)
On an influential account, chaos is explained in terms of random behaviour; and random behaviour in turn is explained in terms of having positive Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy (KSE). Though intuitively plausible, the association of the KSE with random behaviour needs justification since the definition of the KSE does not make reference to any notion that is connected to randomness. I provide this justification for the case of Hamiltonian systems by proving that the KSE is equivalent to a generalized version of (...) Shannon's communication-theoretic entropy under certain plausible assumptions. I then discuss consequences of this equivalence for randomness in chaotic dynamical systems. Introduction Elements of dynamical systems theory Entropy in communication theory Entropy in dynamical systems theory Comparison with other accounts Product versus process randomness. (shrink)
Communication is a multichannel, multiunit process that works on different levels. It is sequential with specific information carriers on a cognitive accessible level, and dynamic for the regulation of relationships at the same time. One function of communication is the broadcasting of internal states that can be assessed by inferential communication.
Context: Although the relationship between communication and culture has received significant attention among communication scholars over the past thirty or more years, there is still no satisfactory explanation as to how these two are related and how culture evolves in communication. It forces the author to turn to Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory, which is one of the main hypotheses of how social systems emerge. Problem: Unfortunately, Luhmann’s concept of meaning is too weak to explain (...) the autopoiesis of communication. In looking for a solution, the author suggests that it is necessary to distinguish between personal sense structures and socio-cultural meanings and to introduce the concept of shared meaning to the systems-theoretical approach. The paper conceptualises “meaning” as a phenomenon that evolves in communication and defines “culture” as a pattern of structurally related meanings. Findings: (1) According to Luhmann, social systems do not consist of static objects, but of dynamic operations, and for a social system to emerge, its elements – communications – must be connected to one another. The author argues that culture equips the momentary elements of the social system – communications – with the capacity for connection, and makes the social system operationally closed, self-referential, and autopoietic. (2) The problem of adaptation does not lose its importance if we understand cognition as a “self-founding activity” of operationally closed systems but transforms into a question of whether the “reality” construed by the media favours or restricts the coping of the system in the ever changing environment. (3) From the perspective of adaptation of the social system to its internal and external environments, an important condition of the continuous process of creation of shared knowledge to which individuals orientate themselves in their activities is the existence of variations. (shrink)
Residual categories are those which cannot be formally represented within a given classification system. We examine the forms that residuality takes within our information systems today, and explore some silences which form around those inhabiting particular residual categories. We argue that there is significant ethical and political work to be done in exploring residuality.
As genetic testing for the presence of potentially health-affecting mutations becomes available for more genetic conditions, many people will soon be faced with the decision of whether or not to have a genetic test. Making an informed decision requires an understanding and evaluation of the arguments for and against having the test. As a case in point, this paper considers argumentation involving the decision of whether to have a BRCA gene test, one of the first commercially available genetic tests. First, (...) argumentation in a five-page patient brochure from a for-profit company that provides BRCA gene testing, is analyzed. Next, for comparison, argumentation on BRCA testing in materials for healthcare consumers written by a not-for-profit health plan and a government organization, is analyzed. In view of the challenges identified by considering these examples, this article discusses how argumentation-oriented computer systems may be able to help the healthcare consumer to make informed decisions about genetic testing. (shrink)
This is a review of the book ‘Memory Evolutive Systems; Hierarchy, Emergence, Cognition’, by A. Ehresmann and J.P. Vanbremeersch. I welcome the use of category theory and the notion of colimit as a way of describing how complex hierarchical systems can be organised, and the notion of categories varying with time to give a notion of an evolving system. In this review I also point out the relation of the notion of colimit to ideas of communication; the (...) necessity of communications to be symbolic representations; and the use of an analogy with mathematics to spell out some of the necessities of such a mode of communication to be powerful, robust and efficient. (shrink)
The vision of the new generation of office systems is based on the hypothesis that an automatic support system is all the more useful and acceptable, the more systems behaviour and performance are in accordance with features ofhuman behaviour. Consequently recent development activities are influenced by the paradigm of the computer as man's “cooperative assistant”. The metaphors ofassistance andcooperation illustrate some major requirements to be met by new office systems. Cooperative office systems will raise a set (...) of new questions about the future of human work, human-machine interaction, the forms of individual control of work, the scope of action and the development of competence in the frame of AI-supported cooperative work, the relative benefits of different types of organizations, etc. With increasing autonomy of the computer in task accomplishment, research should also be concerned with the question of the limits of such a development. In AI-research and development there is much discussion of the intended performance of that new technology. Perhaps this will provide insights into, how these new machines should support numerous aspects of individual or cooperative work. But we find fewer ideas about the future ofhuman work. What will the role of thehuman actor be in future AI-supported cooperative work? What kind of work do we want to support with AI-machines? In the following article I will try to identify some questions for further sociological research activities. I will base my considerations on some theoretical aspects ofunderstanding andmeaning. Regarding identical and non-identical aspects in communication behaviour of human and machines, I will focus on some questions to be investigated. Finally some methodological problems of sociological research in the field of Artificial Intelligence will be discussed, especially the so-called “Time-Dilemma” of sociological research in technology. (shrink)
Although we applaud the interactivist approach to language and communication taken in the target article, we notice that Shanker & King (S&K) give little attention to the theoretical frameworks developed by dynamical system theorists. We point out how the dynamical idea of causality, viewed as multidirectional across multiple scales of organization, could further strengthen the position taken in the target article.
The concept of complexity has become very important in theoretical biology. It is a many faceted concept and too new and ill defined to have a universally accepted meaning. This review examines the development of this concept from the point of view of its usefulness as a criteria for the study of living systems to see what it has to offer as a new approach. In particular, one definition of complexity has been put forth which has the necessary precision (...) and rigor to be considered as a useful categorization of systems, especially as it pertains to those we call living. This definition, due to Robert Rosen, has been developed in a number of works and involves some deep new concepts about the way we view systems. In particular, it focuses on the way we view the world and actually practice science through the use of the modelling relation. This mathematical object models the process by which we assign meaning to the world we perceive. By using the modelling relation, it is possible to identify the subjective nature of our practices and deal with this issue explicitly. By so doing, it becomes clear that our notion of complexity and especially its most popular manifestations, is in large part a product of the historical processes which lead to the present state of scientific epistemology. In particular, it is a reaction to the reductionist/mechanistic view of nature which can be termed the Newtonian Paradigm. This approach to epistemology has dominated for so long that its use as a model has become implicit in most of what we do in and out of science. The alternative to this approach is examined and related to the special definition of complexity given by Rosen. Some historical examples are used to emphasize the dependence of our view of what is complex in a popular sense on the ever changing state of our knowledge. The role of some popular concepts such as chaotic dynamics are examined in this context. The fields of artificial life and related areas are also viewed from the perspective of this rigorous view of complexity and found lacking. The notion that in some way life exists at the edge of chaos is examined from the perspective of the second law of thermodynamics given by Schneider and Kay. Finally, the causal elements in complex systems are explored in relation to complexity. Rosen has shown that a clear difference in causal relations exists between complex and simple systems and that this difference leads to a uniquely useful definition of what we mean by living. Rosen makes it very clear that the class of systems which are complex is a much larger class than those which we call living. For that reason, the focus of this review will be on complexity as a stepping stone towards the deeper question of what makes a system alive. (shrink)
This article describes the phenomenon of knowledge building in online environments. Knowledge building is a process within a community, which leads to the development of knowledge. In order to analyze this process, we will look into the ways in which individuals interact with the collective as a whole. For this purpose, the psychic and social systems, which are involved here are regarded as meaning-based systems in the sense of Luhmann’s systems theory—open to the environment, but operatively closed. (...) The respective modes of operation of psychic and social systems will be examined, and “structural coupling” between these systems described. Another characteristic of knowledge-building communities is self-organization, which is described here in the sense of autopoiesis. A pivotal task, which knowledge-building communities have to tackle, is to handle complexity and reach common understanding. These aspects will also be described using conceptualizations of Luhmann’s systems theory, illustrated by many examples. (shrink)
The frame/content theory of speech production is restricted to output mechanisms in the target article; we suggest that these ideas might best be viewed in the context of language production proceeding as a coordinated dynamical whole. The role of the medial premotor system in generating frames matches the important role it may play in the internally dependent timing of motor acts. The proposed coevolution of cortical architectonics and language production mechanisms suggests a significant divergence between primate and cetacean species corresponding (...) to major differences in areal differentiation trends in cerebral cortex. (shrink)
The search for “usable” expert systems is leading somemedical researchers to question the appropriate role of these programs. Most current systems assume a limited role for the human user, delegating situated “decision-control” to the machine. As expert systems are only able to replace a narrow range of human intellectual functions, this leaves the programs unable to cope with the “constructivist” nature of human knowledge-use. In returning practical control to the human doctor, some researchers are abandoning focusedproblem-solving in (...) favour of supportiveproblem-analysis. Using ONCOCIN and QMR as examples, this article contrasts these approaches and suggests that the latter avoids many of the difficulties currently facing medical expert systems. (shrink)
How might a human communication system be bootstrapped in the absence of conventional language? We argue that motivated signs play an important role (i.e., signs that are linked to meaning by structural resemblance or by natural association). An experimental study is then reported in which participants try to communicate a range of pre-specified items to a partner using repeated non-linguistic vocalization, repeated gesture, or repeated non-linguistic vocalization plus gesture (but without using their existing language system). Gesture proved more effective (...) (measured by communication success) and more efficient (measured by the time taken to communicate) than non-linguistic vocalization across a range of item categories (emotion, object, and action). Combining gesture and vocalization did not improve performance beyond gesture alone. We experimentally demonstrate that gesture is a more effective means of bootstrapping a human communication system. We argue that gesture outperforms non-linguistic vocalization because it lends itself more naturally to the production of motivated signs. (shrink)
Self-organizing dynamic systems (DS) modeling is appropriate to conceptualizing the relationship between emotion and cognition-appraisal. Indeed, DS modeling can be applied to encompass and integrate additional phenomena at levels lower than emotional interpretations (genes), at the same level (motives), and at higher levels (social, cognitive, and moral emotions). Also, communication is a phenomenon involved in dynamic system interactions at all levels.
Words such as selfish and altruistic that describe conduct toward self and others are notoriously ambiguous in everyday language. I argue that the ambiguity is caused, in part, by the coexistence of multiple belief systems that use the same words in different ways. Each belief system is a relatively coherent linguistic entity that provides a guide for human behavior. It is therefore a functional entity with design features that dictate specific word meaning. Since different belief systems guide human (...) behavior in different directions, specific word meanings cannot be maintained across belief systems. Other sources of linguistic ambiguity include i) functional ambiguity that increases the effectiveness of a belief system, ii) ambiguity between belief systems that are functionally identical but historically distinct, and iii) active interference between belief systems. I illustrate these points with a natural history study of the word selfish and related words in everyday language. In general, language and the thought that it represents should be studied in the same way that ecologists study multi-species communities. (shrink)
We examine a variety of dialogue protocols, taking inspiration from two fields: natural language dialogue modelling and multiagent systems. In communicative interaction, one can identify different features that may increase the complexity of the dialogue structure. This motivates a hierarchy of abstract models for protocols that takes as a starting point protocols based on deterministic finite automata. From there, we proceed by looking at particular examples that justify either an enrichment or a restriction of the initial model.
The focus on discourse and communication in the recent sociology of scientific knowledge offers new perspectives for an integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches in science studies. The common point of interest is the question of how reflexive communicationsystems communicate. The elaboration of the mathematical theory of communication into a theory of potentially self-organizing entropical systems enables us to distinguish the various layers of communication, and to specify the dynamic changes in these configurations (...) over time. For example, a paradigmatic discourse can be considered as a virtual communication system at the supra-individual level. Communicationsystems, however, cannot be directly observed. One observes only their instantaneous operations. The reflexive analyst is able to attribute the observed uncertainty to hypothesized systems that interact in the events. The implications of this perspective for various programmes in the sociology of scientific knowledge are discussed. (shrink)
O estudo descreve o julgamento da translucência relativa de substantivos, verbos e modificadores em quatro Sistemas de Comunicação Alternativa e Suplementar (Bliss, PIC, PCS e ImagoAnaVox) por meio do emprego de um software (Sonda) que apresentava os símbolos e registrava a pontuação atribuída, o te..
In light of the many corporate scandals, social and ethical commitment of society has increased considerably, which puts pressure on companies to communicate information related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The reasons underlying the decision by management teams to engage in ethical communication are scarcely focussed on. Thus, grounded on legitimacy and stakeholder theory, this study analyses the views management teams in large listed companies have on communication of CSR. The focus is on aspects on interest, motives/reasons, users (...) and problems related to corporate communication of CSR information. A questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews confirm that there is a distinct trend shift: towards more focus on CSR in corporate communication. Whilst this trend shift started as a reactive approach initiated by the many corporate scandals, the trend shift is now argued to be of a proactive nature focussed at preventing legitimacy concerns to arise. These findings are significant and interesting, implying that we are witnessing a transit period between two legitimacy strategies. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the way respondents argue when it comes to CSR activities coincides with consequentialism or utilitarianism, i. e. companies engage in CSR activities to avoid negative impacts instead of being driven by a will to make a social betterment or acting in accordance with what is fundamentally believed to be right to do. This provides new input to the ongoing debate about business ethics. The findings should alert national and international policy makers to the need both to increase the vigilance and capacity of the regulatory and judicial systems in the CSR context and to increase institutional pressure to enhance CSR adoption and CSR communication. Furthermore, stakeholders need to be careful in assuming that CSR communication is an evidence of a CSR commitment influencing corporate behaviour and increasing business ethics. (shrink)
The author discusses Niklas Luhmann's concept of ethics and morals. Therefore he sketches the main traits of Luhmann's theory of systems (e.g. the terms autopoiesis, system and environment, code and programme). From the system-theoretical point of view, ethics are characterized as the reflexive theory of morals. Morals are described as the communication of regard or disregard. The author shows which consequences follow from this concept by discussing problems concerning several subsystems at the same time. The problems of Luhmann's (...) theory of morals and ethics are demonstrated by analyzing the concepts of risk and responsibility. Finally, the author demands that ethics should be understood even more as social ethics which reflect upon their social foundation in a more consequent way. (shrink)
Using the concept of adjunctive correspondence, for the comprehension of the structure of a complex system, developed in Part I, we introduce the notion of covering systems consisting of partially or locally defined adequately understood objects. This notion incorporates the necessary and sufficient conditions for a sheaf theoretical representation of the informational content included in the structure of a complex system in terms of localization systems. Furthermore, it accommodates a formulation of an invariance property of information communication (...) concerning the analysis of a complex system. (shrink)
Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) enable one to control peripheral ICT and robotic devices by processing brain activity on-line. The potential usefulness of BCI systems, initially demonstrated in rehabilitation medicine, is now being explored in education, entertainment, intensive workflow monitoring, security, and training. Ethical issues arising in connection with these investigations are triaged taking into account technological imminence and pervasiveness of BCI technologies. By focussing on imminent technological developments, ethical reflection is informatively grounded into realistic protocols of brain-to-computer communication. (...) In particular, it is argued that human-machine adaptation and shared control distinctively shape autonomy and responsibility issues in current BCI interaction environments. Novel personhood issues are identified and analyzed too. These notably concern (i) the “sub-personal” use of human beings in BCI-enabled cooperative problem solving, and (ii) the pro-active protection of personal identity which BCI rehabilitation therapies may afford, in the light of so-called motor theories of thinking, for the benefit of patients affected by severe motor disabilities. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to conduct an in-depth study on environmental management systems developed in the ceramic tiles sector. This study is conceived as an improvement on a previous survey related to an environmental diagnosis of the ceramic tiles sector where some incongruities between environmental explicit speeches and environmental actions were detected. Such incongruities revealed that firms assumed to be highly environmental committed while from facts this commitment was not so high proved. So, it was necessary to (...) introduce case study research methodology to clarify and to understand the reasons of these inconsistencies. The main objectives of our case study research are two. The first one consists in determining the relationship between firms and environment, analysing environmental positions in companies assumed in their environmental strategy and their environmental behaviour reflected in facts, while the second one attempts to establish the role played by the accounting information system in the environmental management systems of the companies in the sector. Our case study research reveals the elaboration of a larger amount of environmental accounting information for internal use than for external one. This fact is due not only to the inexistence of regulations about environmental disclosures in Spain, at that time, but also to the importance of environmental internal accounting information for management which supports the prevalence of decision-usefulness theory in the implementation of environmental management systems. (shrink)
This paper argues that the inappropriate framing and implementation of plagiarism detection systems in UK universities can unwittingly construct international students as ‘plagiarists’. It argues that these systems are often implemented with inappropriate assumptions about plagiarism and the way in which new members of a community of practice develop the skills to become full members of that community. Drawing on the literature and some primary data it shows how expectations, norms and practices become translated and negotiated in such (...) a way that legitimate attempts to conform with the expectations of the community of practice often become identified as plagiarism and illegitimate attempts at cheating often become obscured from view. It argues that this inappropriate framing and implementation of plagiarism detection systems may make academic integrity more illusive rather than less. It argues that in its current framing – as systems for ‘detection and discipline’ – plagiarism detection systems may become a new micro-politics of power with devastating consequences for those excluded. (shrink)
Terrence Deacon has described three orders of emergence; Arthur Peacocke and others have suggested four levels of human systems and sciences; and Philip Clayton has postulated an additional, transcendent, level. Orders and levels describe distinct aspects of emergence, with orders characterizing topological complexity and levels characterizing theoretical knowledge and causal power. By using Deacon's orders to analyze and relate each of the four "lower" levels one can project that analysis on the transcendent level to gain insight into the teleodynamic (...) emergence of transcendent-level systems. I argue that cross-cultural interactions among human cultural-level systems results in the emergence of the "universal" transcendental norms historically characterized as the Greek Good, Beauty, and Truth. These norms require a dynamic existence that I characterize as the emergence of Spirit, using Josiah Royce's community of interpretation, and that I suggest provides a pragmatic clarification of Clayton's transcendent level. An understanding of those emergent norms clarifies ethical systems, highlights the importance of aesthetics in understanding scientific systems, and suggests the necessity of community in fruitful science-and-religion dialogue on human systems. (shrink)
The digital world provides various ethical frames for individuals to become ethical subjects. In this paper I examine – in a Foucauldian and Luhmannian way – the differences between three systems of communication: the proprietary, the open/free and the cracker system. It is argued that all three systems provide a different set of ethical codes which one can be subjected to. The language of each system is restricted and they cannot understand each other, they merely consider each (...) other as the environment. The systems generate a diversity of ethical codes as they give different shapes to digital objects. To proprietary software companies digital objects are an instrument of financial profit. The free software/open source movement emphasises transparency; the end user must be able to view and alter the source code. The cracker scene sees digital objects in a different way. For this particular system, only copy-protected digital objects are appealing. Copy protection binds its target to the world of matter. Breaking the protection is the ultimate challenge and a way to gain honour and status inside the cracker scene. A copy-protected digital object is simultaneously an utmost example of the hidden source code (the open/free system), a perfect artefact that can be owned and sold (the proprietary system) and a challenge to be cracked (the cracker system). (shrink)
The paper reports our research aiming at utilization of human interactive communication modeling principles in application to a novel interaction paradigm designed for brain–computer/machine-interfacing (BCI/BMI) technologies as well as for socially aware intelligent environments or communication support systems. Automatic procedures for human affective responses or emotional states estimation are still a hot topic of contemporary research. We propose to utilize human brain and bodily physiological responses for affective/emotional as well as communicative interactivity estimation, which potentially could be (...) used in the future for human–machine/environment interaction design. As a test platform for such an intelligent human–machine communication application, an emotional stimuli paradigm was chosen to evaluate brain responses to various affective stimuli in an emotional empathy mode. Videos with moving faces expressing various emotional displays as well as speech stimuli with similarly emotionally articulated sentences are presented to the subjects in order to further analyze different affective responses. From information processing point of view, several challenges with multimodal signal conditioning and stimuli dynamic response extraction in time frequency domain are addressed. Emotions play an important role in human daily life and human-to-human communication. This is why involvement of affective stimuli principles to human–machine communication or machine-mediated communication with utilization of multichannel neurophysiological and periphery physiological signals monitoring techniques, allowing real-time subjective brain responses evaluation, is discussed. We present our preliminary results and discuss potential applications of brain/body affective responses estimation for future interactive/smart environments. (shrink)
Philosophers and social scientists have recently turned to Lewis sender–receiver games to provide an account of how lexical terms can acquire meaning through an evolutionary process. However, the evolution of meaning is contingent on both the particular sender–receiver game played and the choice of evolutionary dynamic. In this paper I explore some differences between models that presume an infinitely large and randomly mixed population and models in which a finite number of agents communicate with their neighbors in a social network. (...) My results show that communication with neighbors is more conducive to the evolution of meaning than communication with strangers. Additionally, I show that the behavior of the system is highly dependent on the topological structure of the social network. I argue that a specific class of networks—small world graphs—is especially conducive to the evolution of meaning. This is because small world graphs have a short characteristic path length while still maintaining a high degree of correlation between neighbors. Since many actual social networks, such as friendship networks and nervous systems, are conjectured to be small world structures, these results indicate that these networks are quite hospitable to the efficient evolution of meaning. (shrink)
Continued concern for animal welfare may be alleviated when welfare would be monitored on farms. Monitoring can be characterized as an information system where various stakeholders periodically exchange relevant information. Stakeholders include producers, consumers, retailers, the government, scientists, and others. Valuating animal welfare in the animal-product market chain is regarded as a key challenge to further improve the welfare of farm animals and information on the welfare of animals must, therefore, be assessed objectively, for instance, through monitoring. Interviews with Dutch (...) stakeholder representatives were conducted to identify their perceptions about the monitoring of animal welfare. Stakeholder perceptions were characterized in relation to the specific perspectives of each stakeholder. While producers tend to perceive welfare from a production point of view, consumers will use visual images derived from traditional farming and from the animals natural environments. Scientists perceptions of animal welfare are affected by the need to measure welfare with quantifiable parameters. Retailers and governments (policy makers) have views of welfare that are derived from their relationships with producers, consumers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and scientists. All interviewed stakeholder representatives stated that animal welfare is important. They varied in the extent to which they weighted economic considerations relative to concern for the animals welfare. Many stakeholders emphasized the importance of communication in making a monitoring system work. Overall, the perspectives for the development of a sustainable monitoring system that substantially improves farm animal welfare were assessed as being poor in the short term. However, a reliable system could be initiated under certain conditions, such as integrated chains and with influential and motivated stakeholders. A scheme is described with attention points for the development of sustainable monitoring systems for farm animal welfare in the long term. (shrink)