Constraint Driven Distribution Scheduling
This paper describes an expert system for the distribution of complex equipment to large organisations. This system is an example of a frame-based constraint system. The system is designed not only to provide fielding plans for new items of equipment, but to allow senior decision makers to examine the effects of changes in the fielding plans. The system provides several advances over previous approaches. Most distribution planners are hard-wired to a single priority list. In our system, the priority list can be interactively re-ordered and the resulting fielding plan displayed. The system can use either explicit ordering instructions of high level advise like “training facility first” to establish its list. It is currently being enhanced to allow for the coordination of several fielding plans. For example, it can co-ordinate the distribution of trucks with major radio systems as needed. Another extension is the addition of data-dependency backtracking to allow for the changes in one schedule to be reflected in other schedules.
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