[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] AI and Databases

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 23:37:23 -0400
Message-id: <48BB6373.6000809@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Adrian,    (01)

IBM research had produced many good AI tools and prototypes, but
very few of them made it out of research into products, and any
that did were never publicized or promoted by the sales force.    (02)

 > Actually, by the mid 1980s, IBM Yorktown Research had the Syllog*
 > prototype -- a highly declarative AI rule system integrated with
 > RDBs, running on IBM mainframes.  However, it was neither pure AI
 > nor pure RDB work, and it was ignored by both camps.    (03)

IBM also produced an excellent version of Prolog that was very fast,
especially when running on the top-of-the-line mainframes.  (More
explicitly, it was Marc Gillet from the IBM Paris Scientific Center
who developed it.)  But the IBM sales force was clueless about what
to do with it, and no AI researchers paid any attention to products
from IBM.  Following is an article about it:    (04)

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISJ/is_n4_v31/ai_13229652    (05)

I tried to download the cited article from the IBM Systems Journal
web site, but apparently they shut down the site for maintenance
over the Labor Day weekend.    (06)

In any case, the fact that IBM had a lot of good researchers did
little to bridge the cultural divide between IBM's highly lucrative
mainframe products and the academic community that ran DEC, Sun,
and LISP machines.    (07)

By the way, Tivoli, a small start up company in the 1980s, became
a major leader in enterprise management software.  And guess what
language Tivoli uses to write their software?  Prolog.  Later,
IBM bought the whole Tivoli company.  Instead of using their own
world-class Prolog system to do advanced R & D, IBM did nothing
with it.  Later they bought an outside company that used Prolog.
Of course, Tivoli never used IBM Prolog because IBM killed the
product long before they bought Tivoli.    (08)

The most advanced commercial reasoning systems in the world today
are running Prolog under the covers, but the users just point
and click to select what they want.  Nobody sees Prolog.    (09)

 > It's tempting to see the same situation repeating itself -- with
 > the Semantic Web work now occupying the AI slot.  Once again,
 > there's a cultural divide.  To experience this, try talking
 > to SW folks about RDBs and SQL, or to database administrators
 > about rule systems and the Semantic Web.    (010)

It's actually the same cultural divide.  During the 1980s the
description logic people ignored RDBs, and the DB people never
heard of KL-ONE or any other DL version available in those days.
Many people who used Prolog, however, were quite familiar with
RDBs.  And when Ted Codd learned about Prolog, his first remark
was "I wish I had invented that."    (011)

 > Perhaps this is partly what the push towards "Web Science" is
 > designed to overcome?    (012)

No.  People who talk about "Web Science" are just hyping their
end of the cultural divide.  They're doing nothing to bridge it.
They're too busy pumping hot air into the bubble.    (013)

John    (014)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (015)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>