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Integrating Multiple Paradigms within the Blackboard Framework
March 1995 (vol. 21 no. 3)
pp. 244-262
While early knowledge-based systems suffered the frequent criticism of having little relevance to the real world, an increasing number of current applications deal with complex, real-world problems. Due to the complexity of real-world situations, no one general software technique can produce adequate results in different problem domains, and artificial intelligence usually needs to be integrated with conventional paradigms for efficient solutions. The complexity and diversity of real-world applications have also forced the researchers in the AI field to focus more on the integration of diverse knowledge representation and reasoning techniques for solving challenging, real-world problems. Our development environment, BEST (Blackboard-based Expert Systems Toolkit), is aimed to provide the ability to produce large-scale, evolvable, heterogeneous intelligent systems. BEST incorporates the best of multiple programming paradigms in order to avoid restricting users to a single way of expressing either knowledge or data. It combines rule-based programming, object-oriented programming, logic programming, procedural programming and blackboard modelling in a single architecture for knowledge engineering, so that the user can tailor a style of programming to his application, using any or arbitrary combinations of methods to provide a complete solution. The deep integration of all these techniques yields a toolkit more effective even for a specific single application than any technique in isolation or collections of multiple techniques less fully integrated. Within the basic, knowledge-based programming paradigm, BEST offers a multiparadigm language for representing complex knowledge, including incomplete and uncertain knowledge. Its problem solving facilities include truth maintenance, inheritance over arbitrary relations, temporal and hypothetical reasoning, opportunistic control, automatic partitioning and scheduling, and both blackboard and distributed problem-solving paradigms.

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Index Terms:
Artificial intelligence, blackboard model, expert systems, logic programming, model-based reasoning, multiparadigm approach, object-oriented programming, procedural-programming, rule-based programming
Citation:
Sanja Vrane\u s, Mladen Stanojevi\'c, "Integrating Multiple Paradigms within the Blackboard Framework," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 244-262, March 1995, doi:10.1109/32.372151
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