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Volume 10, Issue 2
Mar/Apr 1996
Theme: Object Oriented Development

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Objects in Business - Thinking in Objects -- Jerry Huchzermeier - Object orientation helps build today's most important corporate applications. The thought process behind object orientation (viewing the real world in terms of its "players" rather than its "actions") leads to systems that model businesses rather that systems that just support businesses -- a huge step toward competitive advantage.
Building Custom Rule Engines -- Dennis Merritt - A rule language that works for one problem domain might not work for another. Some developers try to meet the challenge this presents by forcing rules into procedural code -- a path that often leads to incomprehensible programs. Another option is to build a custom rule engine that uses domain-specific rule syntax, is integrable, and processes rules efficiently.
Intelligent Business Applications: - Customer Service -- Jeff Rapaport - Good customer service depends heavily on expertise. Sandia National Labs and HRDC (Human Resources Development Canada) are two organizations that use expert systems to leverage the appropriate expertise. The result is timely consistent service.
Objects and the Environment -- Site Remediation -- Mike Creswick - Cleaning up a hazardous waste site involves a tortuous maze of complex regulations. Regional Project Manager in the Superfund Branch of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control use an object oriented expert system to identify the fegulations that govern cleanup activities at specific sites.

Interview - Daniel Corkill President , Blackboard Technology Group
Cybernautica - Goodbye, OS/2 by Hal Berghel
Product Updates -----------------------------> 28 late breaking product announcements from around the world in the fields of:
  Data Warehousing Expert Systems
  Fuzzy Logic Helpdesk
  Internet Languages
  Neural Networks Object Oriented Development
  Publications Software Development Tools
  Tools Voice Recognition
PC AI Buyer's Guide ----------------------> Helpdesk Automation Object Oriented Development
Product Service Guide - Provides access to information on an entire category of products    
PC AI Blackboard - AI advertisers bulletin board    

Advertiser List for 10.2
AAAI Gold Hill Inc Primenet Inc
AbTech Corporation Harlequin Inc Production Systems Tech
American Heuristics Corp Hess Consulting Proforma Corporation
Amzi! Inc HyperLogic Corporation Prolog Development Center
Applied Logic Systems Inc Information Builders Soft Warehouse Inc
ATTAR Software USA Intelligent Machines Software Frontiers
Axcelis Inc KnowledgeBroker Inc Teknowledge Corporation
Blackboard Technology Group Logic Programming Assoc TERANET IA Inc
California Scientific Software Man Machine Interfaces The Haley Enterprise Inc
DB EXPO' 96 Network Cybernetics Corp The Schwartz Associates
EXSYS Inc NeuralWare Inc TRIMMer Software
Finance And Technology NeuroDimension Inc Virtual Genetic Systems
FuziWare Inc OXKO Corporation Ward Systems Group Inc
Gensym Corporation PC AI Internet Report  
GA Dept/Labor Pinnacle Data Corp  


Objects and Intuitions

The object oriented paradigm has arguably become the dominant force in computing. From CASE tools to expert system shells, from GUI design environments to programming languages, objects are everywhere. Why is this approach so popular?
  Two reasons seem to stand out:
  * Object orientation enables you to think about application development the same way you think about the world around you -- in terms of "things" rather than processes. Hence, object oriented programming (OOP) is more "intuitive" than programming paradigms from the pre-OOP era.
  * Object orientation fosters reusable software structures. The result is accelerated design and implementation. OOP quickly brings new products and versions to the marketplace.
  Evidence consistent with the second reason is all around us. We all use packages designed via object oriented analysis and developed via object oriented languages or tools. Evidence is consistent with the first reason is harder to find. While most people say that OOP "feels" more natural and intuitive than non-OOP, they also say (and vendors of object oriented tools openly and enthusiastically tell you) that OOP demands a lot of time and attention. (Most people call this a "steep learning curve." Since I'm a cognitive psychologist by training -- and as I teach a course in the Psychology of Learning -- I can tell you that this terminology is completely erroneous. Another word from psychology, "proactive," is also commonly abused, but that's a story for another day.)
  Whether or not OOP fits more closely with our intuitions is empirically testable, and I don't know of anyone who has performed such a test. If you know of any studies in this area, I'd like to hear from you. My guess is that it's a question of individual differences: perhaps some people think primarily in terms of objects, others in terms of processes. This idea, of course, is testable as well.
  In any event, our intuitions tell us that you'll enjoy this issue. Two articles fit squarely within our object oriented focus. In our Feature Article, "Objects in Business," Jerry Huchzermeier explains how object orientation will ultimately revolutionize business applications and catalyze Business Process Reengineering. Mike Cresswick's "Objects and the Environment" focuses on an object-based expert system that helps with the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.
  Our other features are also worthwhile objects for your attention. Jeff Rapaport continues his "Intelligent Business Applications" series with a look at two organizations (Sandia National Labs and Human Resources Development Canada) that use expert systems to deliver customer service in a timely, efficient, and consistent manner. Dennis Merritt ("Building Custom Rule Engines") explores the intricacies and benefits of customizing a rule engine to fit a problem domain. In our Interview, Blackboard Technology Group President Dan Corkill recounts his company's history, discusses the blackboard paradigm, and describes some blackboard-based projects. The ever-popular Hal Berghel ("Cybernautica") says so long, au revoir, arriverderci to OS/2.
  In the last issue, I promised you that you would see a new PC AI evolve throughout this year. In this issue, the evolution continues. We'd like your opinions on how it's proceeding. Email me at jspcai@unf.edu. As always, my thanks to those of you who have been kind enough to drop me a line, and I look forward to many more.
  Joseph Schmuller

Volume 10---------------------> Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 1996)   Volume 15 Index (2001)
  Issue 2 (Mar/Apr 1996)   Volume 14 Index (2000)
Issue 3 (May/Jun 1996)   Volume 13 Index (1999)
Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 1996)   Volume 12 Index (1998)
Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 1996)   Volume 11 Index (1997)
Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 1996)   Volume 10 Index (1996)
      Volume 9 Index (1995)
      Volume 8 Index (1994)

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