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Japan's Fifth Generation Computer Systems Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131529D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 17 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Philip C. Treleaven: AUTHOR [+4]


University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Japan's Fifth Generation Computer Systems

Philip C. Treleaven and Isabel Gouveia Lima,

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Believing that vor' Neumann computers are now an endangered species, the Japanese have started to develop a knowledge- information processing system for the 1990's.

Until now, the Japanese computer industry has aimed at catching up with the US, especially IBM, in computer technology. The result is that three Japanese companies (Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC) now claim to offer equivalent computers that are faster than IBM's. In fact, the Japanese computer industry is presently setting its sights on surpassing the rest of the world,ia and it sees as its opportunity the growing "technology gulf" between the traditional sequential, control-flow computer and intended application areas such as distributed computing, of fice automation, and artificial intelligence. All of this is creating the belief that the next generation of computers will have a different theoretical foundation from traditional computers.

With these views in mind the Japanese government in 1979 started a two-year preliminary investigation of this future generation of computers. In April 1982 it embarked on the actual project, which must be the most challenging and extensive computer project undertaken to date. The aim is to develop by 1990 a prototype socalled fifth-generation computer system -- a knowledgeinformation processing system and processors The plans for this project have been documented in a series of lengthy reports,-3 the main aspects of which are described in this article. These fifth-generation computer systems are intended to represent a unification of four currently separate areas of research, namely knowledgebased expert systems, very-high-level programming languages, decentralized computing, and VLSI technology.

Knowledge-based expert systems4 are predicted by the Japanese to be the application area for the 1990's. These computing systems embody modules of organized knowledge which support sophisticated problem-solving and inference functions for the purpose of rendering to the users intelligent advice on one or other specialized topics.

The knowledge bases (each concerning a specific area of human expertise) are analogous to sophisticated versions of current operating-system utilities and their files. Examples include medical diagnosis and mineral explorations In addition, these systems are intended to support human- oriented input/output capabilities through the use of voice, images, or graphics. Expert systems,...