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CERC Technical Report Series

Technical Memoranda


A Blackboard Scheme for Cooperative
Problem-Solving by Human Experts

F. Londo?o

K. J. Cleetus

Y. V. Reddy


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This effort has been sponsored by Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), under contract No. MDA972-88-C-0047 for DARPA Initiative in Concurrent Engineering(DICE).

Concurrent Engineering Research Center
West Virginia University
Drawer 2000, Morgantown WV 26506

A Blackboard Scheme for Cooperative Problem-Solving by

Human Experts*

F. Londo?o, K. J. Cleetus, Y. V. Reddy
Concurrent Engineering Research Center
Drawer 2000
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506
Phone: (304) 293 - 7226
FAX: (304) 293 - 7541
email: [email protected]

1.0 Introduction

This paper describes the development of a blackboard based model for cooperative problem-solving by human experts. The work discussed here is being done as part of the DARPA Initiative in Concurrent Engineering (DICE). A major objective of DICE is the development of an architecture to support a systematic methodology for concurrent engineering.

Cooperative problem-solving is a field receiving wide attention as we pass from the age of the personal computer to that of the networked computer. The presence of cooperating humans on a network raises possibilities for joint working which have yet to be exploited for lack of software. We believe that networks still are ill-utilized because electronic mail, file transfer, remote login, and network file systems (NFS) remain the prime means of computer access to another person's work. These were great advances for their time. However, they deal primarily with the interaction of man and machine and only indirectly with communication between persons. By being indirect, they fail to bring about immediate contact between two or more minds engaged on a problem, and in this respect may be considered inferior to a much older invention, the telephone.