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A Perspective on Automatic Programming

AI Magazine

Most work in automatic programming has focused primarily on the roles of deduction and programming knowledge. However, the role played by knowledge of the task domain seems to be at least as important, both for the usability of an automatic programming system and for the feasibility of building one which works on non-trivial problems. This perspective has evolved during the course of a variety of studies over the last several years, including detailed examination of existing software for a particular domain (quantitative interpretation of oil well logs) and the implementation of an experimental automatic programming system for that domain. The importance of domain knowledge has two important implications: a primary goal of automatic programming research should be to characterize the programming process for specific domains; and a crucial issue to be addressed in these characterizations is the interaction of domain and programming knowledge during program synthesis.


RESEARCH IN PROGRESS

AI Magazine

AI activities are also being pursued at other Schlumberger locations, often jointly with SDR The locations related to logging and interpretation include: Schlumberger-Doll Research, Ridgefield, Connecticut (Contact: Peter Wu'l); Schlumberger Well Services, Austin, Texas (Contact: Scott Gut/my); Schlumberger Well Services, Houston, Texas (Contact: Scott Ma&s); Nippon Schlumberger, K K, Tokyo, Japan (Contact: Dennzs O'NezU); I&ude et Production Schlumbcraer. Other Schlumberger companies involied in Ai research include! Expert Systems Current work in expert, systems is concerned with developing techniques for building more robust and versatile log interpretation systems. One shortcoming of "first generation" expert systems, such as the Dipmeter Advisor, is their inability to reason about the task that they attempt to perform. Any description of the overall task is usually procedurally encoded and unavailable for examination.


Artificial Intelligence at Schlumbergers

AI Magazine

Schlumberger is a large, multinational corporation concerned primarily with the measurement, collection, and interpretation of data. For the past fifty years, most of the activities have been related to hydrocarbon exploration. The efficient location and production of hydrocarbons from an underground formation requires a great deal of knowledge about the formation, ranging in scale from the size and shape of the rock's pore spaces to the size and shape of the entire reservoir. Schlumberger provides its clients with two types of information : measurements, called logs, of the petrophysical properties of the rock around the borehole, such as its electrical, acoustical, and radioactive characteristics; and in terpretations of these logs in terms of geophysical properties such as porosity and mineral composition. Since log interpretation is expert skill, the emergence of expert systems technology prompted Schlumberger's initial interest in Artificial Intelligence. Our first full- scale attempt at a commercial-quality expert system was the Dipmeter Advisor. Following these initial efforts, Schlumberger has expanded its Artificial Intelligence activities, and is now engaged in both basic and applied research in a wide variety of areas.



Software Engineering in the Twenty-First Century

AI Magazine

There is substantial evidence that AI technology can meet the requirements of the large potential market that will exist for knowledge-based software engineering at the turn of the century. In this article, which forms the conclusion to the AAAI Press book Automating Software Design, edited by Michael Lowry and Robert McCartney, Michael Lowry discusses the future of software engineering, and how knowledge-based software engineering (KBSE) progress will lead to system development environments. Specifically, Lowry examines how KBSE techniques promote additive programming methods and how they can be developed and introduced in an evolutionary way.