Mechanisms for Efficiency in Blackboard Systems

Michael Hewett, Rattikorn Hewett

The RETE algorithm had a great impact on the development of efficient production systems by providing a fast pattern matching mechanism for activation. No similar mechanism has been available to speed up activation and scheduling in blackboard systems. In this paper we describe efflcient, general-purpose efficiency mechanisms that are better suited to blackboard systems than RETE-like networks. We describe a knowledge source compiler that produces match networks and demons for efficient activation and rating while compiling the entire system for increased execution speed. Experiments using the enhancements in a general-purpose blackboard shell illustrate a substantial improvement in run time, including an 80-92% decrease in activation time. The mechanisms we describe are general enough to be used in most existing blackboard systems.

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