Modeling Concurrency in Rule-Based Development Environments
We investigate the problem of cooperation among multiple agents in a class of knowledge-based systems called rule-based development environments (RBDEs). RBDEs use knowledge about the specific development process of a software project in order to provide automated assistance to developers working on the project. The knowledge is in the form of rules, where each rule models a development activity. The rules operate on the project components which are abstracted as attributed objects and stored in a database. Each user command corresponds to a rule, which is fired when the user requests the command. The activity encapsulated in the rule might introduce changes in the database that satisfy the condition of one or more other rules, causing the firing of these rules. The database is thus treated as the working memory of the rule system. When multiple developers request commands concurrently, the rule chains initiated by their commands access the same database concurrently, with the potential of conflicting access. We investigate the nature of these conflicts and how to detect them. We outline an approach for using knowledge about the project in order to resolve the conflicts without obstructing cooperation among the users. The full paper appears in IEEE Expert,December 1990.
KeywordsRule Chain Potential Conflict Conflict Situation Control Rule Concurrent Task
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