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How can the blackboard metaphor 
enrich collaborative ACM systems? 
AdaptiveCM 2014 – Ulm 01.09.2014 
Helle Frisak Sem, St...
2 
Plan for the talk 
• The blackboard metaphor 
• Adaptive Case Management and collaborative work 
Computas AS 04.09.2014...
The blackboard metaphor 
“A blackboard system is an artificial intelligence application based on 
the blackboard architect...
Adaptive case management 
CM: 
Handling of many cases that are 
essentially similar 
Focus on automation 
Adaptive CM: 
Ca...
Ordered/complex duality 
5 
Ordered situation with 
clear indication of 
what to do 
Complex situation where 
participants...
Types of collaboration (Mintzberg) 
Coordination 
Direct 
supervision 
Standardization Mutual 
adjustment 
of 
employee 
s...
Towards a rich ACM toolbox… 
• Balancing procedural compliance and run-time flexibility 
• Embracing the unknown, creating...
Collaboration characteristics 
• What is the reason to start to do something? 
• How does information flow? 
• Where is th...
Hierarchies / direct supervision 
• I act because I’m told to 
• Flow follows line of command – Instructions down, 
inform...
Standardization – predefined design 
• I act because it’s in my job description 
• Information flows with the work/relay b...
• I act because I think it is important 
• Emergent control 
11 
Mutual adjustment 
• Shared information 
Computas AS 04.0...
Blackboard metaphor – a way of thinking 
12 
Main principles: 
Shared information 
Free initiative 
Push and pull 
Example...
Our goal: 
Provide IT support for collaborative work 
13 
• Support individual 
work and 
collaboration 
• Ensure performa...
Balancing adaptivity and compliance 
Different means serve different collaboration patterns 
14 
• Initiative 
• Informati...
Balancing adaptivity and compliance 
How to do 
the work 
Easy if you 
know what to do ACM Shared 
information 
platform 
...
16 
Example - UTSYS 
UTSYS –for The National Police Immigration Service (NPIS) 
Operative police work related to immigrati...
17 
Example - UTSYS 
• Parts of the work follow strict rules 
• Unpredictable overall process 
• Different types of actors...
Undercover police infiltrates 
B’s connections, revealing that 
B has family in northern parts 
of Elbonia, under a differ...
19 
Example - UTSYS 
Structured blackboards with lines of work 
• Separate goals 
• Mutual adjustment between the lines 
•...
20 
Area for LoW (a) 
• Worklist with structured 
and unstructured tasks 
• Active task support based 
on predefined proce...
Why use the blackboard metaphor 
• Promote the participants’ 
ability to coordinate work 
through mutual 
adjustment 
• Gi...
When to use blackboard metaphor 
• When several participants collaborate 
• When there is a need for shared situation awar...
Questions and discussion 
Email: Helle.Frisak.Sem@computas.com 
23 
Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote 
Thank you!
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How can the blackboard metaphor enrich collaborative ACM systems?

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Presentation adaptivecm2014 blackboardmetaphor_hellefrisaksem

  1. 1. How can the blackboard metaphor enrich collaborative ACM systems? AdaptiveCM 2014 – Ulm 01.09.2014 Helle Frisak Sem, Steinar Carlsen and Gunnar John Coll (Norway) Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  2. 2. 2 Plan for the talk • The blackboard metaphor • Adaptive Case Management and collaborative work Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote • Balancing flexibility and compliance • Example - UTSYS • Why is the blackboard metaphor useful?
  3. 3. The blackboard metaphor “A blackboard system is an artificial intelligence application based on the blackboard architectural model, where a common knowledge base, the "blackboard", is iteratively updated by a diverse group of specialist knowledge sources, starting with a problem specification and ending with a solution.” 3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackboard_system Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  4. 4. Adaptive case management CM: Handling of many cases that are essentially similar Focus on automation Adaptive CM: Cases are different or circumstances vary in an unpredictable way Follow common and identifiable patterns, but usually also stray outside these Supporting knowledge workers 4 Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  5. 5. Ordered/complex duality 5 Ordered situation with clear indication of what to do Complex situation where participants discover patterns and decide actions within bounds Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  6. 6. Types of collaboration (Mintzberg) Coordination Direct supervision Standardization Mutual adjustment of employee skills of work processes of outputs Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  7. 7. Towards a rich ACM toolbox… • Balancing procedural compliance and run-time flexibility • Embracing the unknown, creating headroom for expert 7 judgment We must offer different collaboration types and support mechanisms! Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  8. 8. Collaboration characteristics • What is the reason to start to do something? • How does information flow? • Where is the locus of control? 8 Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  9. 9. Hierarchies / direct supervision • I act because I’m told to • Flow follows line of command – Instructions down, information up 9 • One person in control Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  10. 10. Standardization – predefined design • I act because it’s in my job description • Information flows with the work/relay baton • Control by design 10 Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  11. 11. • I act because I think it is important • Emergent control 11 Mutual adjustment • Shared information Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  12. 12. Blackboard metaphor – a way of thinking 12 Main principles: Shared information Free initiative Push and pull Examples: Progress of science Scrum boards Crime boards Case files Wirearchy Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  13. 13. Our goal: Provide IT support for collaborative work 13 • Support individual work and collaboration • Ensure performance correctness • Provide flexibility to handle the unexpected Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  14. 14. Balancing adaptivity and compliance Different means serve different collaboration patterns 14 • Initiative • Information flow • Control Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote ACM Shared information platform Tools and services Process-snippets Structured blackboards Tasks and worklists Task library
  15. 15. Balancing adaptivity and compliance How to do the work Easy if you know what to do ACM Shared information platform 15 Flexible relay Shared information and free initiative Tools and services Process-snippets Structured blackboards Tasks and worklists Task library Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  16. 16. 16 Example - UTSYS UTSYS –for The National Police Immigration Service (NPIS) Operative police work related to immigration and forced return of illegal immigrants • Registration • Identification • Forced return • Detention Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  17. 17. 17 Example - UTSYS • Parts of the work follow strict rules • Unpredictable overall process • Different types of actors with their specific goals and subgoals - lines of work • Non-monotonic goals Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  18. 18. Undercover police infiltrates B’s connections, revealing that B has family in northern parts of Elbonia, under a different surname. 7 18 Identification status Travel documents Identity verified Travelling arrangements Work supported by other police systems and UDI systems UTSYS supported work Asylum seeker «B» arrives and an UTSYS case is created. 1 Detain B. 8 Book flight. 9 Assign escort. 10 Surname retrieved Case gets reactivated: Queries to authorities in Elbonia using this name returns passportmatch. This triggers new tasks, updating the blackboard. 6 Police work 5 The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration processes the application for asylum. The application is turned down. Application for asylum submitted 3 When all subgoals have been completed, deportation can be carried out, and the case closed. 11 Acceptance confirmed by Elbonian authorities. Identity Return Detention Case state Awaiting ID verification Effectuation Finalisation Closing UTSYS Case blackboard Detained Initial interview 2 Work to verify B’s identity proves inconclusive. It is, however, 90% certain that the subject is an Elbonian. Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote Failed application returned 4 Elbonian authorities refuse to receive B without firm evidence that he is a subject of Elbonia. Case is suspended.
  19. 19. 19 Example - UTSYS Structured blackboards with lines of work • Separate goals • Mutual adjustment between the lines • Relay-activity or standardization within tasks/lines Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  20. 20. 20 Area for LoW (a) • Worklist with structured and unstructured tasks • Active task support based on predefined process snippets • Context sensitive task library for LoW (a) • Rulebase for calculations • Progress overview • Emergent workflow «Case x» Case Case state Case subgoals Common overview blackboard Area for LoW (b) • Static task library for LoW (b) • Emergent workflow • Tools for for executing special analyses • Structured access to work results • Activity plan editor with reminders Area for LoW (c) • Mainly a log, where LoW experts record their actions and reminders manually • Activity plan editor with reminders • Resource library for this LoW Event  New case x instantiated Main goal: Case x solved and closed Case manager needs a full overview, across lines of work (LoW) Discipline specialists operate within their respective lines of work (LoW). Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  21. 21. Why use the blackboard metaphor • Promote the participants’ ability to coordinate work through mutual adjustment • Give the participants room to act by their professional judgment 21 Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  22. 22. When to use blackboard metaphor • When several participants collaborate • When there is a need for shared situation awareness • When information- and workflows between participants cannot be 22 pre-designed Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote
  23. 23. Questions and discussion Email: Helle.Frisak.Sem@computas.com 23 Computas AS 04.09.2014 – Please quote Thank you!

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