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Method for Compact Representation of a Casual Model

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117781D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Huang, G: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a solution to solve the knowledge representation problem in the system called LAN Server Specialist. LAN Server Specialist is an automatic problem determination tool for IBM* LAN Server 4.0, which analyzes and correlates the error messages issued by LAN Server and LAN Requester in real-time, and reports possible causes and recommended actions. The solution description uses notations from the LAN domain. Nevertheless, the approach is general in nature and can be applied to various domains of knowledge. The goals are to represent the diagnostic knowledge of IBM LAN Server in a form that is compact (space efficient), easy to specify, and easy to process.

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Method for Compact Representation of a Casual Model

Disclosed is a solution to solve the knowledge representation problem in the system called LAN Server Specialist. LAN Server Specialist is an automatic problem determination tool for IBM* LAN Server 4.0, which analyzes and correlates the error messages issued by LAN Server and LAN Requester in real-time, and reports possible causes and recommended actions. The solution description uses notations from the LAN domain. Nevertheless, the approach is general in nature and can be applied to various domains of knowledge. The goals are to represent the diagnostic knowledge of IBM LAN Server in a form that is compact (space efficient), easy to specify, and easy to process.

To address the problem determination issues, a casual model is established for the LAN domain, and used to describe error messages E, causes C, and different relationships between the two. The causal model is important because it decides how easy people can transfer their knowledge about LAN problem solving into the knowledge base, and how efficient the diagnostic engine can process error messages in real-time.

In this system, both messages and causes can be characterized in a parametric constructs E = (E sub 1, V sub 1, E sub 2, V sub 2, ...V sub n-1, E sub n)

and

C = (C sub 1, V sub 1, C sub 2, V sub 2, ... V sub m-1, C sub m

such that E sub i and C sub i are constant character are variables. Substitution of different string values for each variable will yield a different cause or message instance. The process of turning a parametric construct into a particular message or cause is called "instantiation" of the construct.

As an example, the three causes

C1 = CAUSE(file IBMLAN.INI not found)

C2 = CAUSE(file CONFIG.SYS not found)

C3 = CAUSE(file AUTOEXEC.BAT not found)

are represented by the parametric construct

CAUSE(file, V sub 1, not found)

where V sub 1 may assume a value from one of the strings 'IBMLAN.INI', 'CONFIG.SYS', or 'AUTOEXEC.BAT'.

To represent relations between messages and causes it would have been advantageous if one has a notation method to represent a generalized relationship between parametric constructs of messages and causes such that: 1. It would not be necessary to separately specify a relationship

between each instantiated message and each instantiated cause,

thus saving a lot of time and space.

2. The notation method would have enough expressive power to exclude

1

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those combinations of instantiated messages and causes which do

not belong to the relation.

This disclosure describes a notation method for representing such generalized relations. A generalized relation REL between E = (E sub 1, V sub 1, E sub 2, V sub 2, ... V sub n-1, E sub n) and

C = (C sub 1, W sub 1, C sub 2, W sub 2, ... W sub m-1, C sub m)

is represented as

REL(E, {restrictions on variables V sub i},

C, {restrictions on variables W sub i} )

where the restrictions specify which combinations of instantiated messages E...