People oriented software technology, and its use in environmental reporting
specify a task as English syllogisms, together with tables of facts,
run the specification consisting of English syllogisms directly,
ask questions in English,
get hypertexted English explanations of answers,
automatically fill in business forms, and
to automatically generate database queries and updates.
In our approach, English words take their meaning from their context, rather than from a separately maintained dictionary and grammar. This makes it easy to write down knowledge with specialized words and phrases, such as “Environmental Protection Agency Form R”, and then to run the knowledge directly. The knowledge in a specification is directly compiled and interpreted according to a formal theory of highly declarative knowledge. This eliminates the troublesome and expensive gap that often arises between a specification of a task and a program that is supposed to do the task, by eliminating the program. It is not necessary to know about the theory in order to write and to run specifications.
The technology is used to automatically fill in report forms about chemical usage that are submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One such form has over 300 entries per chemical reported, and there are significant penalties for incorrect entries, both for an organization and a private individual who signs the form. Our technology allows us to click on a form entry to see a step by step explanatory audit trail, showing how government regulations, plus engineering expertise, and data about chemicals, were used to automatically make the entry. Other uses of the technology include the mining of medical databases, business case justification, enterprise modelling, and experiments in knowledge based document routing within an organization.
KeywordsPeople oriented specification Syllog English application authoring accountability surety knowledge interchange environmental reporting
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