Bruce Lyon


The blackboard architecture, in which a set of independent knowledge sources communicate by means of a global data base known as a blackboard, has been suggested as a generally useful design for knowledge-based systems. Teraphim is a domain-independent frame work for writing blackboard-based expert systems in Prolog. It implements concepts common to a range of previous blackboard architecture programs, such as HEARSAY-III and BB1. Teraphim includes as its basic elements a partitioned blackboard, a simple blackboard-controlled scheduler, a set of general-purpose scheduling heuristics to control the scheduler, a generic knowledge source with the ability to ask the user questions about incomplete data, modifiable methods of reasoning about uncertain data, and a simple explanation facility that traces the origins of terms on the problem blackboard. Trials of the system indicate that it can be used to implement expert systems to solve either synthesis or analysis problems. The blackboard architecture of Teraphim lends itself to experimentation with the kinds of knowledge representation and control knowledge needed to solve problems. Prolog proved to be a convenient language for writing blackboard-based systems.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Expert systems (Computer science); Prolog (Computer program language)

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Computer Science (GCCIS)


Biles, Al

Advisor/Committee Member

Lutz, Peter


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: QA76.9.E96 L96 1987


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