COMEX: A Support System for a Commodities Expert

Unknown author (1977-08-01)

The intelligent support system project is developing a program (COMEX) to assist a commodities expert in tasks such as interpreting data, predicting trends and intelligent noticing. Large amounts of qualitative and quantitative information about factors such as weather, trade and crop condition need to be managed. This memo presents COMEX-), a prototype system written in FRL, a frame-based language (Goldstein & Roberts, 1977). COMEX-O has a complaint handling system, frame structure matching and simple reasoning. By conversing with a user, it builds groupings of frame structures to represent events. These are called CLUSTERS and are proposed as a new representation method. New CLUSTERS are built from previously defined ones using INSTANTIATION and AGGREGATION, two methods which combine with frame inheritance and constraints to make up a general event representation mechanism. CLUSTERS capture the idea of generic patterns of relationships between frames and raise an issue named the GENERIC CONSTRAINT PROBLEM concerning constraints between the parts of a cluster. The final section presents plans for future work on qualitative reasoning within COMEX and includes a hypothetical scenario.