John Warfield Exhibit

Mainframe Terminals

Interactive Management had its genesis in the early 1970's, when Warfield was still at Battelle. He developed Interpretive Structural Modeling as a way to utilize computing power to help groups of people solve problems. The earliest iterations of this process were developed on mainframe computers, with remote terminals installed in conference rooms for ISM sessions. The meeting shown in this image took place at Battelle in 1974. Computer terminals can be seen throughout the room. Warfield can be seen sitting against the wall, at far left, with his hand to his ear.

Fortran Code

Early versions of ISM were written in computer languages like Fortran. Shown here are two pieces of ISM code, part of a much larger sequence of code written in 1979 at the University of Dayton. The top page is the code to print relationships for ISM statements, and the bottom page is the code to display questions to the participant group.

Desktop Personal Computers

By the mid-1980's, remote mainframe terminals had been replaced by desktop computers. With a revolution occuring in computer design, the CIM and other users of Interactive Management sought to remain on the cutting edge of technology. This photo shows the Demosophia at Southwest Marine Fisheries Center, some time before 1990. Two desktop computers feature prominently in the foreground of the photo.


The Center for Interactive Management was formally shut down in 1990, but IM work continued. Practitioners of Interactive Management soon had the power of portable laptop computing at their fingertips. This eliminated the need for bulky computer stations in the Demosophia, and allowed facilitators - like Dr. Benjamine Broome, seen in the foreground of this photo - to bring portable computer to bear in solving complex problems. This particular session was a 1995 workshop for the Defense Information Systems Agency.