The tower-of-adapters method for developing and reusing problem-solving methods

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The paper provides three novel contributions to knowledge engineering. First, we provide a structured approach for the development and adaptation of problem-solving methods. We start from very generic search strategies with weak data structures and add adapters that refine the states and state transitions of the search process and that add assumptions necessary to link the competence of a method with given problem definitions and domain knowledge. Second, we show how the usability-reusability trade-off of task-specific versus task-independent problem-solving methods can easily be overcome by the virtual existence of specific methods. Third, we provide the concept of an integrated library combining reusable problem definitions, problem-solving methods, and adapters.