Supporting Organizational Problem Solving with a Workstation

Unknown author (1982-07-01)

This paper describes an approach to supporting work in the office. Using and extending ideas from the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) we describe office work as a problem solving activity. A knowledge embedding language called Omega is used to embed knowledge of the organization into an office worker's workstation in order to support the office worker in his or her problem solving. A particular approach to reasoning about change and contradiction is discussed. This approach uses Omega's viewpoint mechanism. Omega's viewpoint mechanism is a general contradiction handling facility. Unlike other Knowledge Representation systems, when a contradiction is reached the reasons for the contradiction can be analyzed by the deduction mechanism without having to resort to a backtracking mechanism. The Viewpoint mechanism is the heart of the Problem Solving Support Paradigm. This paradigm supplements the classical AI view of problem solving. Office workers are supported using the Problem Solving Support Paradigm. An example is presented where Omega's facilities are used to support an office worker's problem solving activities. The example illustrates the use of viewpoints and of Omega's capabilities to reason about it's own reasoning process.