Ford, Kenneth M.


Cognitive Orthoses: Toward Human-Centered AI

AI Magazine

This introduction focuses on how human-centered computing (HCC) is changing the way that people think about information technology. The AI perspective views this HCC framework as embodying a systems view, in which human thought and action are linked and equally important in terms of analysis, design, and evaluation. This emerging technology provides a new research outlook for AI applications, with new research goals and agendas.



PIM: A Novel Architecture for Coordinating Behavior of Distributed Systems

AI Magazine

Process integrated mechanisms (PIM) offer a new approach to the problem of coordinating the activity of physically distributed systems or devices. Current approaches to coordination all have well-recognized strengths and weaknesses. We propose a novel architecture to add to the mix, called the Process Integrated Mechanism (PIM), which enjoys the advantages of having a single controlling authority while avoiding the structural difficulties that have traditionally led to its rejection in many complex settings. In many situations, PIMs improve on previous models with regard to coordination, security, ease of software development, robustness and communication overhead. In the PIM architecture, the components are conceived as parts of a single mechanism, even when they are physically separated and operate asynchronously. The PIM models offers promise as an effective infrastructure for handling tasks that require a high degree of time-sensitive coordination between the components, as well as a clean mechanism for coordinating the high-level goals of loosely coupled systems. PIM models enable coordination without the fragility and high communication overhead of centralized control, but also without the uncertainty associated with the system-level behavior of a MAS.The PIM model provides an ease of programming with advantages over both multi-agent sys-tems and centralized architectures. It has the robustness of a multi-agent system without the significant complexity and overhead required for inter-agent communication and negotiation. In contrast to centralized approaches, it does not require managing the large amounts of data that the coordinating process needs to compute a global view. In a PIM, the process moves to the data and may perform computations on the components where the data is locally available, sharing only the information needed for coordination of the other components. While there are many remaining research issues to be addressed, we believe that PIMs offer an important and novel tech-nique for the control of distributed systems.





On the Other Hand ... Drawing the Line

AI Magazine

One of the best things about conferences, as we all know, is the opportunity they afford to consolidate old friendships and make new contacts. Clusters of con-versation provide a more valuable way to spend ones time than attending sessions. At the last national meeting we escaped from the celebrations of the recent victory of Deep Blue over the dreaded Kasparov, to find just such a group, already engaged in an animated discussion ....




Talking Heads: A Review of Speaking Minds: Interviews with Twenty Eminent Cognitive Scientists

AI Magazine

Review of "Speaking Minds: Interviews with Twenty Eminent Cognitive Scientists, Peter Baumgartner and Sabine Payr, editors, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995. 376 pp. $17.95 (paper). ISBN 0-691-02901-6. $39.50 (cloth). ISBN 0-691-03678-0.