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Re: [ontolog-forum] Architecture of Intelligent Systems - Flexible Modul

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2015 12:10:03 -0400
Message-id: <5565EC5B.6040304@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rich and Ed,    (01)

Three points:    (02)

  1. I agree with Ed on the practical issues of collaboration.    (03)

  2. The Flexible Modular Framework (FMF) is a very lightweight
     and efficient mechanism.  After I wrote that article,
     Arun Majumdar implemented the first version in 2 weeks, and
     later versions have formed the backbone of VivoMind software
     for over a dozen years.    (04)

  3. I'd like to mention a famous collaboration of three very
     independent and creative individuals.    (05)

Re #3:  In the 1930s, Kurt Gödel and Alonzo Church were at the
Princeton IAS, and Alan Turing went to Princeton U. where he wrote
his famous PhD thesis with Church as his adviser.  Each of them
had developed a universal paradigm for computing: Gödel used
recursive functions, Church invented the lambda calculus, and
Turing combined finite-state automata with an infinite tape.    (06)

They worked independently, but they challenged one another with
examples of what each of their methods could compute:  "Here's what
my system can do.  Can yours do the same?"  As a result, they agreed
that the three systems (and many other variations) are equivalent
in computational power.    (07)

Their work in the 1930s became the foundation for computer science.
It stimulated Turing (and another guy at IAS named von Neumann)
to invent modern digital computers.    (08)

That kind of constructive criticism and collaboration is the foundation
for progress in science and engineering.  By contrast, the constant
bickering about symbolic vs connectionist vs conceptual vs statistical
is *advertising hype* in competing for grants.  It leads to silos,
stovepipes, and stagnation.    (09)

Re #2:  As I said, the foundation is *lightweight*.  It was stimulated
by McCarthy's Elephant 2000 and Minsky's Society of Mind, but the
implementation is based on three widely used technologies:    (010)

  1. Blackboards, which have been used in AI systems long before the
     the name 'blackboard' was coined.  In fact, *every* bottom-up
     parser, forward-chaining theorem prover, and event-driven OS
     uses the equivalent of a blackboard.    (011)

  2. Gelenter's Linda system, which has been used to support high-speed
     message passing for event triggering among multiple independent
     processors (or agents or modules).    (012)

  3. Direct addressing for message passing.  The associative indexing
     for blackboards is very flexible when you don't know which agent
     (or module) can handle the task.  But after one agent makes an
     initial contact with another agent, they can send messages directly.    (013)

Note the message format, p. 14 of http://www.jfsowa.com /pubs/arch.pdf .
It allows arbitrary languages, which can be as complex as English, or
as simple as a single bit.  Most messages are simple.  Also not the
character strong for 'speech act'.   Most speech acts are also simple,
such as tell (update), ask (query), or do (execute).  But they can also
lead to complex transactions.    (014)

And by the way, the arch.pdf article was published in a special AI
issue of the _IBM Systems Journal_.  That same issue had an article
on "An architecture of diversity for commonsense reasoning" by ten
co-authors, starting with McCarthy, Minsky, Sloman:
http://www.jfsowa.com/ikl/McCarthy02.pdf    (015)

I had not seen that article before I submitted mine.  If I had, I would
have pointed out that the architectures in Figs 1, 2, 3, and 4 of that
article (and many, many more) could have been implemented very quickly
by putting together a collection of FMF agents.    (016)

In fact, the various VivoMind applications use different architectures
which are assembled by putting together previously written modules (or
adding new ones).  In fact, the modules can reorganize themselves and
create (AKA 'learn' or 'discover') new ways of interacting.  That's
the point of http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/paradigm.pdf    (017)

By the way, the FMF is, in effect, a distributed operating system.
We use modules written in Java, Prolog, C, and other languages.
The software is very easy to port from Linux, to Windows, to Apple OS.
And it can communicate with agents in other FMF systems anywhere on
the WWW -- there may be a delay, but the message passing is independent
of the location.    (018)

John    (019)

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