Saturday, October 27, 2012



Yepper - you really missed it!  If you weren't here (here being IntelliFest 2012 in San Diego, October 22-26) for the past three or four days, you missed that once in a century, maybe once in a millennium, happening.  We had

  • Dr. Charles Forgy, inventor of Rete, Rete 2, Rete III and Rete NT
  • Dr. Doug Lenat, inventor of the 30-year and still-ongoing CYC program
  • Dr. Stephen Grossberg, one of the Godfathers of Mathematical Neural Networks
  • Gary Riley, inventor of CLIPS, the standard for rulebased systems 
  • Mark Proctor, inventor of Drools and all things Drools-related
  • Carlos Seranno-Morales, inventor of Advisor (Neuron Data) and Sparkling Logic
  • Dr. Jacob Feldman, inventor of Open Rules
  • Dr. Vijay Bandekar, early AI pioneer and BRE architect at Cisco
  • Dr. Alex Guazzelli, creator and author of PMML, Predictive Modeling Markup Language
  • Dr. Wolfgang Laun: Jess and Drools Guru, Rulebase Patterns creator and all-round cool guy
  • Kenny Shi, Rule guru at eBay on fraud detection
  • Paul Snow, inventor (among many) of Fifth as well as DTRules
  • Paul Vincent, former Neuron Data guy and now Tibco guru

 I don't think these guys will be together again in one place again this century.  Not all at once in one place where you or I can talk with them, have breakfast, lunch or supper with them, talk about the universe in general or rules or AI in particular with them individually or in a group, listen to them expound or argue with each other, discuss things...  It was absolutely, positively, GREAT!

And you missed it.  Oh, well...  I tried to tell you.  Mark tried to tell you.  Jason tried to tell you.  Everyone here tried to tell you.  But you wouldn't listen.  Nooooo...  You were too busy with this and that and the other.  Well, you missed it.  Just like Woodstock.  Just like Paul McCartney's last concert.  Just like BB King's last concert.  Just like SRV's last concert.  You missed it.  And all you can do is hope to see one of the slide presentations if and when they become available - which most won't since the authors won't release them to the public.  Sorry, Charlie.  You missed it.

Oh, one other thing.  See my blog on Bad Bahai for my comments on my stay at the Bahia Resort Hotel.  It was close to terrible.


IntelliFest 2012 Friday


Lots of cool things happening today but I'm working this morning - SCRUM meetings, training and other meetings taking up most of the day.  Did get to have lunch with Dr. Doug Lenat and Mark Proctor though.  Also, got to listen to part of Carlos Seranno-Morales' presentation on "Converting a Ton of Data Into an Ounce of Knowledge."  He and Dr. Charles Forgy are really working on data analysis for fraud, something that should go together quite well with what Dr. Stephen Grossberg presented on Tuesday.  Got part of the presentation by Paul Vincent of Tibco on "Decision Modeling for Better Decisions" - that was part of the business focus track that we were supposed to have had but that never quite happened.  Still, it was a good presentation - what I saw before going back to work.

Back to work and missed most of the rest of the day but had supper with Dr. Forgy, Gary and Linda Riley.  Gary and Linda are a really nice couple - I can see why they have been together so long.  Gary is so laid back that he and Charles just seem to listen to Linda talk about whatever - especially since she is a highly qualified programmer as well.  Anyway, Gary is from Texas, Charles is from Texas and I'm an immigrant to Texas; Linda is the only Yankee import so it's nice to have an outside opinion now and then.  More tomorrow but it's been a great conference.


IntelliFest 2012 Thursday


Thursday - my turn in the barrel.  I did a pretty simple talk on Benchmarks and how far we've come in the past 25 years when Dr. Miranker first got them started.  Yep, first up at 0830 followed by Dr. Charles Forgy (inventor of Rete, Rete 2, Rete III and Rete-NT) at 0930 talking on just why the benchmarks worked like they do and why most are pure junk and how to modify so that they run properly.  Then he was followed by Charles Young of Solid Soft who spoke on the trust value of Applied AI.  Finally, just before lunch, Dr. Doug Lenat of Cycorp presented a really great talk on Cyc, a program on which he has been working for the past 30 years.  I felt like a real groupie today.

After lunch Kenny Shi of eBay gave  his presentation on Emotional Business Rules.  Then it was "Old Home Week" when Rob Rossi (formerly of Neuron Data and one of my running mates at Norwest Bank in Des Moines back in 1998) gave a neat presentation on what they are doing at XTOR to do AI in the Cloud.  What a neat idea!

The final two presentations were by Dr. Jacob Feldman of Open Rules who spoke on Constraint Programming and Dr. Wolfgang Laun who followed his boot camp with Reasoning on XML Data.  What a great day!!!  All in all, if you weren't here today, you missed a great time.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Corticon / Progress Rebuttal


There seems to be a link at at Progess/Corticon  ( ) where I am quoted (page 14, figure 8...) as having said in an InfoWorld article in 2006, "Corticon Plays By Different Rules", (see for the link) and that I conducted certain benchmark tests on Corticon and that they were much faster than other BRMS vendors at that time.  If you go to the link at  you will see that InfoWorld did not publish ANY benchmarks with that particular article.  As a matter of fact, against my objections, the article was slightly re-written to remove reference to performance so that Corticon would not seem to appear so poorly in the eyes of the readers.  At the end of the revised article, our editor posted the following note:  "This review has been changed to qualify statements in the original regarding Corticon 4’s performance and scalability and its suitability for complex applications. The scoring remains unchanged."

However, pertaining to performance, when I first informally reviewed Corticon I did note that Corticon used DETI (DEsign Time Inference) rather than Rete (Ree'-tee), meaning that most of the inferencing process takes time before the timing process begins so that any time to compare would be totally unfair to another benchmark process.  Also, if the number of rows were to be the number of rules, then Corticon used an inordinate number of rules.  Ordinarily Miss Manners uses only 8 rules and Waltz50 uses only 32 rules.  Corticon used WAY more than that (something over 1,000 rows for Waltz50) even though they did solve the problem.

I compare this to running a marathon.  It is much like a runner running the first mile, catching a subway to the 25th mile, then running the last part of the marathon and claiming victory.  I just isn't fair to the other competitors.  Sure, he completed the race but NOT according to the rules.  Sorry, Charlie; no cigar.

And NONE of this showed up on the review in InfoWorld - they are far too nice a magazine to ever publish this kind of thing.  So, as you might notice, we totally cut the part of performance out of the evaluation during both versions of the article.  After all, they were a small start-up company at the time, struggling to compete with the Big Boys of the BRMS world and we just wanted to give them a leg up as it were.  Little did we know that we had grabbed the wrong end of a snake.

So, for the record:

First, I DID write such an article for InfoWorld in 2006 and InfoWorld DID, in fact, publish that article.

Second, I did conduct certain benchmark tests but they were NOT published in any form.

Third, Corticon was not the fastest on Miss Manners benchmark - far from it.

Fourth, InfoWorld did NOT publish any of the benchmarks in the published article.

Fifth, I did not make such a statement nor did I authorize such a publication by either Progress nor by Dr. Mark Allen.

Sixth, I hereby request that Progress and/or Corticon and/or Dr. Mark Allen please remove this article from their website forthwith and without hesitation.

James C. Owen
Senior BRMS Consultant / Architect

Thursday, October 25, 2012

InteliFest 2012 Wednesday


New Day here in San Diego - beautiful and cool.   First up is Carlos Seranno-Morales showing how to create rules from Big Data when your SMEs don't have all the answers.  This is heresy for most BRMS guys but it has a bit of truth; sometimes they really don't have all the answers and you have to do quite a bit of data analysis to dig it out, especially in the world of fraud analysis where the SMEs can help guide but the statistics hold the ultimate guide to the answers.

Keynote Speaker is Dr. Stephen Grossberg, Godfather of Neural Networks; formerly at MIT and now at Boston University.  Quite a trip!  He explained a lot on neural connections, visual recognition and ART, Adaptive Resonance Technology.  He ended up showing a lot of what Dr. Gail Carpenter is doing on the ARTMAP front where she did in one day what some SMEs had taken over a year to analyze on some highly complex data mapping and analyzing.

After lunch Gary Riley gave a talk on how he implemented another commercial rulebase (it as ILOG JRules we found out later...) and some of the problems that he experienced with the project.  Most of the problems that he had were mostly with people and planning and PPPPPP.  One thing of note was that they went to using XML for their object representation which led to problems with extensibility.  This is much easier to accomplish in POJO (Plain Old Java Objects) than in XML but XML does extend to using with other software.  It was a swap-out and the Java developers lost out on this one.

Days End we all went to supper at another seafood / steak place again, Saska's, and, of course, I had to get more fresh seafood.  Can't wait until tomorrow.

IntelliFest 2012 Tuesday


What a day!  Talking with two of my favorite Charles' today - Charles the Forgenator and Charles the Younger (Charles Young of Solid Soft).  I had supper with Charles Forgy last night where we discussed that he is now using Linq (a Microsoft-only product) for his new development work.  Spooky!!  Then today at lunch I had both of them expounding the virtues of Linq and C# and .NET (yes, Virginia, there is a .NET for the Mac now) for over an hour.  It seems that Charles the Younger is a MS-Maven from way back while Charles the Forgenator is a recent convert.  Both are convinced that Java is dying on the vine and that all of us Java geeks need to jump ship now before the ship goes bottom up.

Supper on the shore again - this time with Gary and Linda Riley.  What nice folks.  It turns out that she has family here in San Diego who split their time between here and Seattle; Summer there, winter here. So, they are off to see them this weekend and here for the conference.  I had fresh seafood again.  It's really great to get fresh seafood for a decent price again fully knowing that there is absolutely no MSG in it anywhere.

Well, tomorrow is a great day for all.  Really looking forward to the first day of IntelliFest.