People Oriented Software Technology, and its Use in Environmental Reporting

We describe a software technology that is ``people oriented'', in the sense that it allows us to: * 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.

By: Teresita Krueger, George Kurian, Anil Nair, Gustaf Neumann, Ulrich Neumerkel, Stefan Nusser, Peter Reintjes, Andrew Taylor, Daphne Tzoar, and Adrian Walker

Published in: RC20034 in 1995


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