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July 28, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

IntelliCorp’s Knowledge Engineering Environment is now so well established in the artificial intelligence world that companies are beginning to develop add-ons and extensions for it. One such comes from Technology Applications Inc, which has developed a package that enables expert system developers to transport their KEE applications between Lisp machines and IBM ATs. Described as an expert system development/delivery environment, Keystone grew out of the company’s experience in designing expert systems for the nuclear power industry. The idea behind Keystone matured during the two-and-a-half-year development of our Realm Reactor Emergency Action Level Monitor expert system using KEE on a Xerox 1 186 Lisp machine, Steve Rausch, vice-president and general manager of the Keystone product told Microbytes. On the one hand, we wanted to be able to use IBM ATs to help in developing Realm, he explained, and on the other, we wanted to be able to deliver our product to customers who already had plenty of ATs. The result is a microcomputer-based package that supports most of the features of KEE 2.1. We stripped out some KEE features we found we weren’t using and added some of our own features, like text traces and graphical representation, says Rausch. As a development environment, Keystone is designed to allow work to be moved between ATs and Lisp machines, reducing the hardware cost of building expert systems, because development tasks can be distributed among ATs rather than expensive Lisp machines. As a delivery environment, Keystone enables finished expert systems applications to be distributed essentially intact to AT users. We’ve already ported a large-scale KEE application consisting of some 10,000 lines of Lisp code to the PC AT using Keystone, says Rausch. The basic Keystone package, which includes three days of training, eight hours of telephone support, and a site licence for up to 10 copies plus source code, is $9,750. The software requires a 512Kb AT-alike with 5Mb of extended memory, a mouse, a 10Mb hard disk, and the Gold Hill Computers GCLisp 286 Developer package.

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