Assignment 7, Phong

Briefly discuss the following issues:

1. what did you find (articulate the answers in your own words)

1.1. interesting about the article? The distinction between expert systems where knowledge rules are codified a priori and cooperative problem-solving systems where rules set can be extended seems particularly well-suited to the current need of flexible information filtering. In addition, the idea of a human partnering with a problem-solving system, and through it indirectly with other human beings, seems very promising in its ability to allow collaboration across time, space, and different levels of expertise. Finally, the argumentative characteristics of the system replicates the dynamics of a live consultation with an human expert. To wit, going to Home Depot to figure out the pro and con of a 50 gallon water heater with a 20 years warranty as oppose to one with a shorter warranty: an expert providing information that a consumer can use to make a decision consistent with her own criteria.

1.2. not interesting about the article? It took some effort for me to follow the discussion of how the generic, specific, and interpretive critics were implemented. That section was useful but it took more mental efforts for me to follow than the rest of the paper.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article? The process of critiquing is a critical element of the design process and it could be applied to assist designers in solving complex problems where traditional expert systems have not been useful. To be useful a system-based critiquing system must be able to deal gracefully with evolving and incomplete design environment, incremental requirement specifications, and distributed knowledge distribution among many design participants.

3. are themes discussed in the article which you would like to know more about? I'd like to know if this system has been further developed and has it been used by the kitchen designer community? And I would also like to know the level of difficulty of incorporating new knowledge into these systems?

4. do you know of other papers, ideas, and systems which are closely related to

4.1. DODEs. Yes, I have seen telecommunications system "provisioning" systems that help telecom engineers to design telecommunications circuits. By and large these systems have had limited success.

4.2. Critiquing? As a computer scientists compilers are my main experience of critiquing systems.

4.3. analyze “spelling correctors” as a critiquing system. Spell check is a good example of a critiquing system. At its most basic, knowledge about spelling convention and their use – like language – is constantly evolving; a word's spelling may be changed intentionally by a writer; and any one writer will mostly likely know the correct spelling for a subset of all available words. So from these criteria I would agree that a spelling checker is a simple cooperative problem solving system.

5. what does the article say about

5.1. design. That critiquing, human or system supported, is an essential enabler of the design process. And that arriving at a good design often means an iterative process of reframing the problem and its attendant constraints and solution space.

5.2. learning. That learning is iterative, dynamic, and often advances through reflection after breakdown events.

5.3. collaboration. That collaboration is the activation of distributed knowledge among folks who may have different areas of expertise. Perhaps a critical challenge for collaboration is the enabling folks to virtually "come to the table" by offering specific tools and processes that help design participants to manage and exploit conflicts.

5.4. innovative media support for these activities? Use of innovative media must be informed by the process that they need to support.

6. do you have any ideas how this research could / should be extended based on your own knowledge and experience? Would notions of ontology as used by proponents of the semantic web be applicable in this area?