Towards Exploiting Generic Procedures in Model-Based Computing

Reference: McIlraith, S. A. Towards Exploiting Generic Procedures in Model-Based Computing. Knowledge Systems Laboratory, July, 1998.

Abstract: Doctors have patient-independent protocols that prescribe the general steps to follow in treating patients with particular ailments. Service technicians follow general procedures for trouble-shooting and repairing different computer hardware. Indeed, experts often develop generic procedures or heuristics that they instantiate in the context of a particular system/device and state of the world in order to realize some goal. In this paper we present preliminary results towards integrating such a notion of generic procedures with traditional model-based representations of system behaviour. This enables us to transform high-level system-independent procedural knowledge into a system-specific sequence of actions that can be performed by an agent to control the behaviour of a system, be that agent a computer program, or a human being. Not only does this integration enable synthesis of system-specific action sequences, for some procedures, it also enables verification that a generic procedure will achieve an articulated goal with respect to a particular system and state of the world. We achieve this integration by exploiting research on high-level robot programming, ontologies of actions, and declarative model representations. This paper lays the groundwork and provides an initial step towards model-based programming.

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