The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #532

Title:Being Economical with the Truth: Assumption-Based Context Management in the Edinburgh Designer System
Authors:Logan,B; Millington,K; Smithers,T
Date:May 1991
Presented:This is a revised version of a paper submitted to the First International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, June 1991, Edinburgh, UK
Abstract:The problem of controlling inference is a common one in AI systems. It is particularly acute in AI-based design support systems, which to be effective must not only produce the right answer, but must also produce it at the right time. In this paper we discuss these problems in the context of a particular implementation, the Edinburgh Designer System (EDS), a design support system for mechanical design problems. We present an approach to the control problem which utilises the context of a task to determine which inferences the system should perform. We describe a hybrid architecture, an assumption-based truth maintained blackboard system and its associated context management system which partitions the blackboard into a series of views containing the information relating to a particular design solution or task. The resulting system integrates consistency maintenance and the control of inference within the framework of an assumption-based truth maintenance system (ATMS).

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