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Yesterday saw the launch of SD-Adviser and SD-Rules from the Artificial Intelligence Business Centre division of Systems Designers Plc. SD-Adviser is an MS-DOS second-generation expert system shell which enables users to upgrade their applications to minis and mainframes. According to Systems Designers, MS-DOS expert systems have been few and far between because of the limited number of functions they offer in addition to their inability to upgrade. SD-Adviser is designed to give the expert system builder the same level of functionality no matter what machine it is developed on or sent to. Systems applications can be developed on a PC and put into action on a DEC VAX or IBM mainframe or vice versa. SD-Adviser, the evolutionary not revolutionary artificial intelligence tool is the third in a line of products including Sage and Envisage. It can interface to Fortran, Pascal and C and runs on MS-DOS micros. Systems Designers also has an agreement with ICL under which a version of SD-Adviser, called ICL-Adviser, has been created for development on the company’s PCs. The Series-39 Expert Configurer is already available using this method. It can also be used with a DEC VAX under VMS and Ultrix, IBM mainframes under VM/CMS and, using ICL Adviser, ICL mainframes under VME. UKP60m a year Systems Designers plans future releases to operate under Xenix and under IBM MVS. In addition SD-Rules made its debut yesterday as a product for use in the Poplog multi-purpose, multi-language artificial intelligence development environment. This product lets the rules a person uses in decision making to be developed from information that has been gathered beforehand. Normally this process is made more difficult since the information obtained from an expert may not be accurate; he may know what his job entails but not why he does certain things so the information is never entirely correct. However it has to be to establish a knowledge base for use in an expert system. With SD-Rules, claimed as a major step forward to automatic programming, a number of examples of a problem are put together with an expert judgement. The tool then develops the most efficient rule for arriving at the judgement. It does this using a host of other information, statistics and questions combined with input from an engineer. Once the rule has been formed examples are tested, using graphics and text, to check its validity. It can then be tailored until the final form is created, in Pascal, C or an artificial intelligence language – Pop-11, Common Lisp or Prolog. Fortran and Ada are in the works, and can be produced now if a customer requests them. SD-Adviser development licences are priced at UKP1,495 on micros, from UKP4,995 on the VAX and from UKP9,995 on IBM mainframes. SD-Rules – available on the Hewlett Packard 9000/300 series, Sun-2, Sun-3 and Apollo Domain workstations, all under Unix, and on the DEC VAX under VMS and Ultrix – is priced at UKP2,995.

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CBR Staff Writer

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