• data and knowledge visualization;
  • connectionism and neural nets;
  • knowledge-based systems;
  • knowledge management applications;
  • discovery-based science

This study presents a novel, multidisciplinary research project entitled DIPKIP (data acquisition, intelligent processing, knowledge identification and proposal), which is a Knowledge Management (KM) system that profiles the KM status of a company. Qualitative data is fed into the system that allows it not only to assess the KM situation in the company in a straightforward and intuitive manner, but also to propose corrective actions to improve that situation. DIPKIP is based on four separate steps. An initial “Data Acquisition” step, in which key data is captured, is followed by an “Intelligent Processing” step, using neural projection architectures. Subsequently, the “Knowledge Identification” step catalogues the company into three categories, which define a set of possible theoretical strategic knowledge situations: knowledge deficit, partial knowledge deficit, and no knowledge deficit. Finally, a “Proposal” step is performed, in which the “knowledge processes”—creation/acquisition, transference/distribution, and putting into practice/updating—are appraised to arrive at a coherent recommendation. The knowledge updating process (increasing the knowledge held and removing obsolete knowledge) is in itself a novel contribution. DIPKIP may be applied as a decision support system, which, under the supervision of a KM expert, can provide useful and practical proposals to senior management for the improvement of KM, leading to flexibility, cost savings, and greater competitiveness. The research also analyses the future for powerful neural projection models in the emerging field of KM by reviewing a variety of robust unsupervised projection architectures, all of which are used to visualize the intrinsic structure of high-dimensional data sets. The main projection architecture in this research, known as Cooperative Maximum-Likelihood Hebbian Learning (CMLHL), manages to capture a degree of KM topological ordering based on the application of cooperative lateral connections. The results of two real-life case studies in very different industrial sectors corroborated the relevance and viability of the DIPKIP system and the concepts upon which it is founded.