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This is a Hypertext version of the Patent Pending
by iterations of the Taylor System and Method



Subsystem 3 Summary
System and Method for Integrating/Optimizing Technical Systems
to Promote Agent Interaction

Overview of the Patent Application


This system is, at a high level, a knowledge worker tool kit module of the full system. The overall system not only includes the tool kit, but Agent functions, process filters, simulators and data or knowledge warehouses. According to the present invention, a user builds the agents and then, in accordance with the overall process of the present invention tests the agent, uses the agent, sets a term for the agent and stores the experience. Using principles of iteration and recursion, together with feedback and critical mass, the system becomes self-adapting and self-improving. Of course, testing the agent requires simulation. The process filters described are required to replicate a scan build process. In particular, when working with human agents, it is possible to engage in a very different level of consciousness that is often referred to as "brainstorming." Although brainstorming is often referred to as just another kind of thought process, it is in fact an entirely different level of consciousness in which the mind is forming new connections without the constraint of logic. To replicate this process in a machine, it is necessary to use a randomizer that is iterative and self-adapting. At the basic level, the randomizer is able to make random connections of relevant or related pieces of data and then test those random connections to see what type of results they provide. Machines capable of this type of randomizer activity include a so-called "Zwicky box," and other devices that can generate morphological forced connections. The Zwicky Box is named after Fritz Zwicky, a designer who invented the morphological forced connection process as a way of searching for connections that no "logical" mind would make. Another significant module of the system and method for integrating/optimizing technical systems for promoting agent interaction is the pattern recognizer. The pattern recognizer is a system that analyzes data and looks for patterns in the data. It provides information concerning these patterns as a possible route for gaining feedback. For example, the pattern recognizer may analyze the users input into the system (textual, audio or visual) and compare these various inputs to see if a pattern can be recognized. If a pattern is recognized, the system can suggest additional inputs that have a similar pattern. The user/system interface may be in the form of the system posing a simple question to the user, "Is this what you are looking for?" or the interface may be automatic or transparent to the user. In this way, the users acceptance, acquiescence or rejection of the suggestion derived from pattern recognition will allow the system to learn from feedback. The pattern recognizer thus facilitates feedback into the system so that even a generic simple agent can quickly "teach itself" to be a customized agent for the particular user. The agents thus teach themselves through application of the system and method of the present invention. The pattern recognition strategies employed may be kinesthetic, visual, verbal and combinations thereof. Further, "contextual" information may be used such as kind, location, size, scope or other attributes. In this sense, the present invention provides a unified process and system for approaching the wide variety of problems associated with the transformation to a knowledge economy. The system applies a consistent logical sequence to the variety of problems and relies to a large extent on recursion, iteration, critical mass and feedback to allow solutions to emerge even when the underlying rationale for why the solution works may not be fully understood. The basic process follows the three cat model approach of designing, building and testing through simulation and feeding back the results of the simulation to the design. A central element of the success of this system is that the simulator gets smarter as it goes along. Thus, the simulator has a learning mode. The simulator generates results that are stored in the form of a data or knowledge warehouse, which provides input for future simulations. It is important to note that the same process applies to all Sub-Systems of the present invention. In this sense, the present invention provides a formal system of a concurrent engineering that is applicable to a wide variety of systems. Central to the present invention is the iterative building of agents as solutions to complex problems. According to the present invention, the agent (solution) is designed with minimum information and then built. The agent is allowed to act within its environment, and able to provide information concerning its results so that this information can be used in refining the design. Thus, agents evolve or emerge through recursion and iteration. This is fundamentally different from the approach taken today in trying to design complex solutions using more information from data warehouses in the initial design. If too much complexity information is introduced in the design of the initial agent, then the agent is so constrained that it cannot evolve or emerge through actual experience. It is in this sense that the present invention provides an IC factory, in iterative recursive engine of creation. Thus, the present invention is based on the fundamental recognition that knowledge is created only in interaction with reality and the experience gained therefrom. To create a "engine of creation", therefore, it is necessary to create a system that allows both interaction with an environment (either actual or simulated) and learning from the experience of the interaction. With these two fundamental characteristics, the ability to improve the agent or the design is limited only by the ability to iterate successive generations of the design through the simulation and learning process. Thus, recursion, interaction and feedback are the key elements to this interactive process. The present invention provides a new framework, processes and algorithms for the performance of knowledge-based work. Future, this invention is based on 20 years of experimentation with Human Agents in the production of real work producing economic value. In these experiments (supported by DesignShop, management center and NavCenter processes tools and environments) a disciplined, scaleable approach has been developed for the augmentation and facilitation of agents of all kinds. Further, the basic rules for the "manufacturing" of non-human agents have been determined by demonstration and test. A Human Agent, in a Knowledge Economy, will have an augmentation system that consists of the following components: o A basic, integrated tool kit for drawing, writing, calculating, analyzing, accessing the Internet and other networks, scenario building, planning, project managing, scheduling, full (real time) multimedia augmentation and various custom applications. o An "Agent Builder" for the manufacture and management of a variety of virtual "intelligent" agents to perform tasks, represent existing articles of value and trade, search data bases and other virtual environments, "represent" - as an agent - the Human Agent in conducting negotiations and trades; and, build and employ other active agents as indicated in the present invention. o A simulator for testing agents and communities of agents to understand their behavior and the behavior of complex environments. o A library and system of processes and process filters for analyzing, testing. designing, engineering and the performance of the majority of (codified) professional services. o A Pattern Recognizer for recognizing patterns in textual, audio or visual inputs or data together with a means for presenting similar data as a suggestion to the user and receiving input (feedback) from the user as to the desirability of the suggestion. o Data Warehouse and Knowledge Base functions. These Data Warehouse and Knowledge Base functions will be characterized by "information about the information." This requires employment of Processes and tools such as InfoLog (which assigns a unique number and keywords to information-events), SolutionBox (which annotates "documents" indexing their "location" on the Creative Process, Vantage Points and Design Formation Models; and, forms active links to archived "solutions"), and Confidence (which indicates measures of data "hardness," completeness, comprehensiveness, etc.). It is an insight of the present invention that information about information is essential if a community-of-work (ToA) is to accomplish high performance. This functionality is necessary for "communities" of agents of all kind on all levels of recursion. Thus as an agent, or a community of agents, "experiences" these experiences become part of the agent and its environment. Depending on protocols (agent processes) these experiences are shared with other agents. This provides memory (ToA) in the system; state1, state2, state3, state...n as described elsewhere. o A "Decider" ( Sub-System 1). o A seamless (agent-based) interface that is context sensitive and "learns" the Human Agents habits and desires. The above is representational of the elements of the present invention but not exhaustive. The system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention is a powerful tool for supporting the transition to the knowledge economy. It can provide agents with new ways of working. It can aid in the redesign effectively and re-equipment of the workplace to operate effectively in the information age. The system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention is a synthesis of elements of the present invention. The components are: l-Body of Knowledge, 2-Process Facilitation, 3-Educational Programs, 4-Technical Systems, 5-Environments, 6-Project Management, and 7-Venture Management. The functioning of the system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention depends on all the components working together. None can exist alone and have a full expression of the system. This is not to say that each component must function at the same level of sophistication. The components will, in fact, co-exist while each is at a different level of completion and sophistication. The system itself is subject to the same "rules" of creativity and evolution, as are the projects and processes it manages. The system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention is, in broader terms, an idea manager as well as a planning and project manager. The hub of the system is a knowledgebase designed to provide information to the user, information that is relevant to the task at hand, but that also provides gateways to further exploration of the implications of that task. The knowledgebase is designed to support the user's creative process in dealing with any topic. Further, it is designed to act as a "knowledge capture" mechanism through its interaction with the person using it. Linked to the knowledgebase are a series of modules. The main function of these modules is to allow the user to explore the relationships between ideas about how the future might unfold and the creation of practical plans to guide actions into that future. These modules bring together three of the principal Taylor knowledge technologies: the Scenario; the Strategic Plan and its graphic manifestation, the AND MAP; and the Time and Task management system. The system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention also provides a pathway to the corporate knowledgebase and to other application packages that support the creative process, such as word-processing, spreadsheet, graphics and computer aided design (and manufacturing). The system will function as an expert system providing the user with artificial intelligence, as well as tools with which to pursue creative endeavors. This expert system is composed of sets of Terms of Art (ToA), Pattern Language (SS), Modeling Language (D/PT) and Algorithms (RS) found and demonstrated by the present inventors as necessary for the consistent performance of synergy between agents. It is a feature of the present invention that these "rules" can be expressed to agents of many kinds. For example, a Human agent may be given the Pattern Language (SS) of how other human agents approach the creative process and related life/work style - this may be expressed in a series of 18 to 25 "habits" of human creativity. The same rules may be applied to the building (programming) of a machine agent in the form of Algorithms (RS) or formal rules. Scalability and "cross-platform" integration is a consistent feature of the present invention. The large-scale synthesis of agent intelligence will usher in an era of creative exploration far surpassing any in humanity's experience. The tool-kit sub-component system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention is composed of eight major modules. At the hub of the system is the knowledgebase, the main data base of information resources. The Knowledgebase Interface is the shell that protects the data base and provides the tools to access the data directly or through applications. Outside the shell are the six "principle applications" modules of the system. They are Data Management, General Applications, Tools, Scenario, Strategic Plan and Time and Task Management Modules. Together they form an integrated environment for the creative exploration of ideas about the future. They also provide the means of programming and managing courses of action to provide the transition, for the corporation or organizations between the present and the future. Finally, the system also provides an intelligent link with the corporate past, which it builds upon by documenting corporate actions as they unfold. The system is, therefore, an historian of actions, providing the chronicle as events occur. The knowledgebase and its interface contain the information upon which the six "applications" draw. The knowledgebase also provides the means of entering and retrieving general information to and from the system. Finally, it provides a means of exploring and creating new ideas, using the creative process, and the black box and other processes and models that form the basis of the System and Method of the present invention. The knowledgebase interface will link the specific work modules, called the principle applications, with the knowledgebase and application programs that reside "outside" the system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention. It will provide the means of manipulating data so that it is compatible with the needs of the work modules and the outside applications programs. The knowledgebase interface will link with other sub-component systems such as agentBuilder, agentSimulator , memoryKeeper and other sub-components of sub-system 3 as described herein. Ultimately, the knowledgebase interface will manage the expert system aspects of the system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention. For example, in a full expert system implementation, when a particular user signs on to work with a module, the system will call up specific parts of the tool kit that the user profile indicates the user prefers to use. The system might also make suggestions on investigative strategies the user might like to pursue, basing the suggestions on the user's level of expertise. The Scenario Module will facilitate the formulation of ideas about the future. A structured investigation into the past could also be accomplished using this module. Key features will include: 1) the support of several formal methodologies such as morphological and cross-impact analysis, with which the structure of postulated events may be developed and/or analyzed, 2) the ability to access information in the knowledgebase that pertains to an event through a keyword query 3) the ability to compare different scenarios and to analyze the implications of variations between the types of events projected, and variations in the timing of those events. The Strategic Plan Module facilitates the formulation, testing, and maintenance of broad plans of action. The AND MAP technology will be supported in PERT/CPM or decision network form. Formulation of goals and objectives as well as specific activities within the plan will be linked to scenario events that affect them. Likewise, events within a plan are linked to specific actions within the time and task management system associated with the plan. Through this linkage, the effects of a change in any one of the modules on the other modules will be recorded. Documents that support or explain the plan, or specific actions within the plan, can be retrieved from the knowledgebase. The module will support "what if" computations on a plan or group of alternative plans. The development and alteration of AND maps will be graphically and analytically supported. The Time and Task Management Module will translate the intent of the strategic plan into a day to day scheduling of actions implementing the plan. Specific work packages will be broken out showing team membership, the responsible manager, time lines, etc. The rate of completion of various work packages and specific actions will be fed back to the strategic plan to monitor plan progress. Possession of a variety of reporting capabilities will be a key feature of both the Strategic Plan and the Time and Task Management modules. The Tool Kit Module will contain routines that are used in common by the other work modules. For example, statistical analysis of data will be needed in each of the main work modules. When needed, it will be called from the tool kit, 90 that it will not be necessary to have a complete set of code to do statistical work resident within all three of the planning modules. Possibly some simple procedures, such as calculation of the mean and standard deviation of a set of data, will be more efficiently placed within the planning modules themselves. This is an issue to be determined in the future, however. The planning modules, that is, the Scenario, Strategic Plan, and the Time and Task Management modules, are designed to support a complete planning process. This process can be described in simplified fashion in the following model: 1. define problems and opportunities 2. describe the problems and opportunities in systems terms 3. define goals and objectives to deal with the problems and opportunities 4. define performance specifications to implement the goals and objectives 5. define resources and constraints to accomplish the goals and objectives 6. define the plan of action 7. create work packages to implement the plan 8. create a task management system to control and track work 9. feed back changes in organizational goals and objectives and in resource or constraints to the plan and the task management system 10. feed back changes in the plan's schedule to organizational goals and objectives Each of the above steps in the planning process is related to one of the system for integrating and optimizing technical systems according to the present invention planning modules. The system of the present invention provides a method of user interaction with the system that allows the user to learn the system's next level of operation while using a lower level. The system of the present invention also creates various scenarios about the future. Be able to test the assumptions within the scenarios to see how reliable they are based on present knowledge and opinion. Be able to compare the probability and the impacts of various scenarios. Be able to monitor the reliability of a given scenario as events unfold. The system of the present invention also provides a method of exploration of the knowledgebase in a way that gives the user the information s/he is looking for and makes reference to other related information not initially requested. The system of the present invention, in all modules, provides the ability to work with text and graphic images within the same viewing plane and provides multiple window display. The system of the present invention also provides the user with the ability to create an outline plan for each working session with the system. It should facilitate the discovery of new information by the user. The system of the present invention also provides a record of each working session for the user to review and learn from to increase his/her efficiency. The system of the present invention also provides extensive on-screen help and tutorials to assist the user in operating the system in an efficient and effective manner. The system of the present invention also provides the user with a "tool kit" of methods for the exploration of the structure of knowledge in selected subject areas aimed toward generating new insights and knowledge. That is, an expert system on the exploration of knowledge. The system of the present invention also provides the system with the ability to acquire new information from interaction with the user, and to learn the user's methods of operation, in order to assist the user in performing those methods with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. The system of the present invention also provides the ability for agents within the system to carry on multiple conferences with each other. The system of the present invention also an analysis of scenario events to show how events are logically connected. Develop strings of events to be inserted into a scenario. The system of the present invention also shows the variability in the estimates of when an event will happen within a scenario The system of the present invention also shows the combined probability of a particular chain of events happening, that is, a risk analysis of the chain of events. The system of the present invention also correlates the scenario events to specific articles, working papers, etc. that collaborate or dispute the probability of the event occurring. The system of the present invention also facilitates the formulation of alternative plans of action based on key events in the scenario. Creates network diagrams of these plans. Link activities within the plans to a database of the characteristics of the activities. The system of the present invention also links key events in the scenario to elements in the strategic plan. Links the work packages in the strategic plan to elements in the time and task management system. When one related element in any module changes, the system will inform the user and/or automatically update related elements in the other modules. The system of the present invention also creates plans in a decision network format, utilizing the unique symbols and identifying structures of the AND map. The system of the present invention is also able to analyze a network based on time minimization, cost minimization, and optimization (trade-off between time and cost) criteria. The system of the present invention is also able to compare various plans based on any one or all of the above criteria, i.e. a goals achievement analysis across multiple plans. The system of the present invention is also able to perform "what if" analysis on a plan or plans based on: a. minimum time with unlimited resources for a given topology. b. minimum cost criteria c. specific resource limitations. d. maximum parallel tracks for network activities The system of the present invention is also able to perform "what if" calculations on a given plan based on : a. changes in the network topology. b. changes in the resource allocations on the network. The system of the present invention can provide the ability to do resource leveling. The system of the present invention can create descriptions of the network in AND map form, Gantt Chart form, and in activity precedence tables; show the critical path activities for deterministic networks and critical path options for probabilistic networks; report slack times for each non-critical activity. Also show the reduction in slack for non-critical activities as the project progresses, so that these activities do not go critical. The system of the present invention can create "work packages" that are given to people responsible for given major tasks and that identify the specifications of the work to be done, the time lines to be met, and the resources available to the project team. The reporting schemes for all three major modules will be hierarchical in nature. The first level will give only basic information and each succeeding level will increase the density of information about the queried activity or event. The system of the present invention can monitor the actual time and resources required by various activities for completion, and feedback those results to an on-going activity type model. Incorporate an analysis of variance to see if the variation in performance is due to the nature of the activity or the nature of the resources: primarily people and their level of training and expertise. Create an activity by activity comparison of the time scheduled versus the actual completion time, and report any slippages in time lines. Monitoring will be tied to the cost outlay accounting for each activity in the Plan. The time and task system will be tied to an overall project time and cost accounting system. (2) The strategic plan module parameters are very flexible in order to respond to the variety of types of plans that will be developed using it. The system learn the user's planning style and provide appropriate information and tools to support that style. The style should also be compared with "ideal" approaches and the user be made aware of the differences in approach, and possible performance differences, between his/her style and the "ideal". The time and task management system provides a break out on a sub-track basis of who will do what and when. All activities within the time and task management system will be tied to a specific activity within the strategic plan. The system of the present invention includes time and task reporting systems that are able to call up the "work package" in which are contained the associated project activities, the name of the person responsible for the project's completion, the time frame in the total project, whether the activities in the work package are on the critical path and if not what their slack is. The system of the present invention also can: record comments and suggestions about the plan from those using the plan; analyze their comments and use the results to bring refinement to the plan. The system of the present invention also can: create ways of allowing the "line" managers and personnel to design the ways that the time and task management categories are developed, in order to implement the project; create ways of allowing the "line" personnel to have input into the creation as well as the modification of the plan; create a flexible report generator so that information output concerning any of the modules can be customized or called from a standard template. The system of the present invention also can: provide a project documentation module that records who gets what information, so that updates and changes to the plan can be distributed efficiently to the appropriate people. The system of the present invention also can: create a user interface that is graphically-oriented and has a menu-command string-icon structure. The system of the present invention also can employ a "learn as you do" user operation strategy. The system of the present invention also can: create "fly it" expert systems for each of the main modules.

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posted June 1, 2000

revised June 1, 2000
• 20000601.133547.mt•

(note: this document is about 5% finished)

Copyright© 1982, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Matt Taylor

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