The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

PhD Thesis #9313

Title:The Application of Proof Plans to Computer Configuration Problems
Date: 1993
Abstract:Traditional expert systems technology is limited, being hard to maintain and extend to new problems. In this thesis, I propose a logical formalization for the domain of computer hardware configuration. This domain was the subject one of the earliest knowledge based systems, XCON. Whilst XCON is cited as a successful system, it has nevertheless also beet criticized for its maintenance problems. This is an important issue., as the turnover of computer hardware components is particularly changeable, the market being subject to intense competition and rapidly changing technology. My approach enables the task of configuring a computer configuration c from a specification spec(c) to be performed by synthesizing c as a by-product of proving the theorem 3c.spec(c) when c becomes instantiated in the course of the proof. A clean separation of the object-level, heuristic, and control knowledge enables us to guide search and aids maintenance. As well as ensuring legal configurations, by virtue of the soundness of the underlying logical theory, I have also been able to take design issues into consideration by using heuristic and control knowledge.

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