Hamscher, Walter


COMET: An Application of Model-Based Reasoning to Accounting Systems

AI Magazine

An important problem faced by auditors is gauging how much reliance can be placed on the accounting systems that process millions of transactions to produce the numbers summarized in a company's financial statements. In a complex accounting system, it can be an extremely difficult task for the auditor to anticipate the possible errors that can occur and evaluate the effectiveness of the controls at detecting them. An accurate analysis must take into account the unique features of each company's business processes. An auditor uses COMET to create a hierarchical flowchart model that describes the intended processing of business transactions by an accounting system and the operation of its controls.


COMET: An Application of Model-Based Reasoning to Accounting Systems

AI Magazine

An important problem faced by auditors is gauging how much reliance can be placed on the accounting systems that process millions of transactions to produce the numbers summarized in a company's financial statements. Accounting sys-ems contain internal controls, procedures designed to detect and correct errors and irregularities that can occur in the processing of transactions. In a complex accounting system, it can be an extremely difficult task for the auditor to anticipate the possible errors that can occur and evaluate the effectiveness of the controls at detecting them. An accurate analysis must take into account the unique features of each company's business processes. To cope with this complexity and variability, the COMET system applies a model-based reasoning approach to the analysis of accounting systems and their controls. An auditor uses COMET to create a hierarchical flowchart model that describes the intended processing of business transactions by an accounting system and the operation of its controls. COMET uses the constructed model to automatically analyze the effectiveness of the controls in detecting potential errors. Price Waterhouse auditors have used COMET on a variety of real audits in several countries around the world.


AI in Business-Process Reengineering

AI Magazine

Business-process reengineering (BPR) is a generic term covering a variety of perspectives on how to change organizations. There are at least two distinct roles for AI in BPR. One role is as an enabling technology for reengineered processes. A second, less common but potentially important role is in tools to support the change process itself. The Workshop on AI in Business-Process Engineering, held during the national AI conference, allowed participants to learn about projects that are aimed at exploiting insights from AI.


Principles of Diagnosis: Current Trends and a Report on the First International Workshop

AI Magazine

Automated diagnosis is an important AI problem not only for its potential practical applications but also because it exposes issues common to all automated reasoning efforts and presents real challenges to existing paradigms. Current research in this area addresses many problems, including managing and structuring probabilistic information, modeling physical systems, reasoning with defeasible assumptions, and interleaving deliberation and action. Furthermore, diagnosis programs must face these problems in contexts where scaling up to deal with cases of realistic size results in daunting combinatorics. This article presents these and other issues as discussed at the First International Workshop on Principles of Diagnosis.


Principles of Diagnosis: Current Trends and a Report on the First International Workshop

AI Magazine

Automated diagnosis is an important AI problem not only for its potential practical applications but also because it exposes issues common to all automated reasoning efforts and presents real challenges to existing paradigms. Current research in this area addresses many problems, including managing and structuring probabilistic information, modeling physical systems, reasoning with defeasible assumptions, and interleaving deliberation and action. Furthermore, diagnosis programs must face these problems in contexts where scaling up to deal with cases of realistic size results in daunting combinatorics. This article presents these and other issues as discussed at the First International Workshop on Principles of Diagnosis.