The blackboard architecture, in which a set of independent knowledge sources communicate by means of a global data base known as a blackboard, has been suggested as a generally useful design for knowledge-based systems. Teraphim is a domain-independent frame work for writing blackboard-based expert systems in Prolog. It implements concepts common to a range of previous blackboard architecture programs, such as HEARSAY-III and BB1. Teraphim includes as its basic elements a partitioned blackboard, a simple blackboard-controlled scheduler, a set of general-purpose scheduling heuristics to control the scheduler, a generic knowledge source with the ability to ask the user questions about incomplete data, modifiable methods of reasoning about uncertain data, and a simple explanation facility that traces the origins of terms on the problem blackboard. Trials of the system indicate that it can be used to implement expert systems to solve either synthesis or analysis problems. The blackboard architecture of Teraphim lends itself to experimentation with the kinds of knowledge representation and control knowledge needed to solve problems. Prolog proved to be a convenient language for writing blackboard-based systems.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Expert systems (Computer science); Prolog (Computer program language)
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Lyon, Bruce, "Teraphim: a domain-independent framework for constructing blackboard-controlled, blackboard-based expert systems in Prolog" (1987). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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