McDermott, John

VT: An Expert Elevator Designer That Uses Knowledge-Based Backtracking

AI Magazine

VT (vertical transportation) is an expert system for handling the design of elevator systems that is currently in use at Westinghouse Elevator Company. In these cases, VT uses the strategy of constructing a plausible approximation and successively refining it. VT uses domain-specific knowledge to guide its backtracking search for successful refinements. SALT was used to build VT and provides an analysis of VT's knowledge base to assess its potential for convergence on a solution.

Preliminary steps toward a taxonomy of problem-solving methods


In Marcus, S., (Ed.), Automating Knowledge Acquisition for Knowledge Based Systems, chapter 8, pages 120-146. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers

The Dark Ages of AI: A Panel Discussion at AAAI-84

AI Magazine

This panel, which met in Austin, Texas, discussed the "deep unease among AI researchers who have been around more than the last four years or so ... that perhaps expectations about AI are too high, and that this will eventually result in disaster."

R1 Revisited: Four Years in the Trenches

AI Magazine

In 1980, Digital Equipment Corporation began to use a rule-based system called R1 by some and XCON by others to configure VAX-11 computer systems. In the intervening years, R1's knowledge has increased substantially and its usefulness to Digital continues to grow. This article describes what is involved in extending R1's performance during the four year period.

R1: The Formative Years

AI Magazine

R1 is a rule-based program that configures VAX-11 computer systems. Given a customer's purchase order, it determines what, if any, substitutions and additions have to be made to the order to make it consistent and complete and produces a number of diagrams showing the spatial and logical relationships among the 90 or so components that typically constitute a system. The program has been used on a regular basis by Digital Equipment Corporation's manufacturing organization since January of 1980. R1 has sufficient knowledge of the configuration domain and of the percliarities of the various configuration constraints that at each step in the configuration process, it simply recognizes what to do; thus it requires little search in order to configure a computer system.