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Technical Details

Much of the early effort at AIAI focussed on acquisition and analysis of knowledge about software development methods. This was accomplished using TOPKAT (The Open Practical Knowledge Acquisition Tool), a knowledge engineering workbench which is written in HARDY (AIAI's hypertext and diagramming tool).

A software development model has been developed, which combines entity-oriented and task-oriented approaches. In addition, the agents who carry out the tasks or activities are also explicitly modelled. The more complete the model is, i.e. the more aspects that are included, the more confidence there will be in the final evaluation and the greater the level of assurance in the product.

This modelling approach is eminently suitable for critiquing a project plan because it can be used to analyse any project, regardless of the development method; every development project produces a product or products regardless of how it does it. A prototype system will be written using CLIPS 6.0 a KBS development package which runs under both MS Windows and X Windows.

Loughborough are developing a generic methodology for identifying potential hazards while developing software. This is a two stage process and is based on analysis of incident data supplied by CAA and ICI. A tool is being developed in CLIPS 6.0 to support the application of the methodolog.