Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cooperative problem-solving using assumption-based truth maintenance
Author: Dugdale, Julie Anne
Awarding Body: University of Buckingham
Current Institution: University of Buckingham
Date of Award: 1994
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Classical expert systems have been criticised for ignoring the problem-solving ability of the user. The ramifications of this are more than just a reduced problem-solving capability. By excluding the knowledge of the user, the knowledge-base of the system is incomplete as it is infeasible to capture all the relevant factors. Furthermore, users become alienated as they do not have the opportunity to "adapt the situation according to their skills. In many cases the conclusions of the expert system are rejected, or the user's responsibility is abrogated, because the user cannot influence the decision. In response to these criticisms a new type of system is emerging - the Cooperative Problem-solving System. Such systems provide a dynamic interactive environment in which the user and the system work together to derive a solution. A cooperative approach is appropriate in two situations. The first situation is when a problem can be broken down into sub-problems which can then be assigned to the various participants. The second situation is when the relative merits of independently derived solutions need to be investigated by participants in order to arrive at a solution that is mutually acceptable. This thesis is concerned with cooperation which falls into the latter category. The cooperative system developed in this work is the first to study cooperation in this respect. The domain chosen to implement the cooperative problem-solving system is investment management. The process of investment management described in this work is based upon the approach used by the Product Operations division of International Computers Limited (ICL). Investment management is ideal because of the nature of the reasoning used and the type of cooperative interaction that takes place. Until now, the application of such a system to investment management has not been explored. Previous methods for analysing cooperation focus on the identification and assignment of individual tasks to the various agents. These methods are therefore inappropriate to the interpretation of cooperation used in this work. The functions necessary to provide a cooperative environment have been identified by developing a new approach to analysing cooperation. Central to this approach are the transcripts obtained from management meetings. This data was supplemented by devising a case-study and running simulated meetings. Seven functions that a cooperative problem-solving system should provide were identified from the transcripts: information provision, problem-solving, explanation, user-modelling, constraint recognition, problem-modelling, and confirmation. The individual identification of these functions is not new. The novelty in this work stems from the collective use of the functions for cooperation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available