Independent R & D
My current independent research projects are
- The Reaction Vessel is a Java general
purpose framework using the chemical metaphor with automatic concurrency
and fault tolerence.
- The Flask is an artificial
chemistry and corresponding simulator.
- The Pond is an agent simulator
for studying agents that learn to survive and cooperate.
- RepeaterBots is a simulator
for constructing and testing simulated robots that automatically
provide radio communications over unknown terrain.
- A program to evolve and evaluate cartoon
- I'm developing an autonomous pet in the Second Life environment.
I also plan to build a distributed problem solver that will include a
genetic algorithm tool and a simulated annealing tool. Another
project is to build tools for constructing web-based dynamic teaching
tools that can be distributed on CD-ROMs or memory sticks for those who
develop courses for regions of the world without reliable network
communications. I wrote a
on building dynamic sites on CD using Jetty.
Projects for My Employer
I am the chief software architect for a web-based teaching tool that
. Using a Java applet, instructors build a concept map
key that is centered around a topic concept.
After an instructor publishes a concept map, students attempt to
construct a concept map around the topic. They can iteratively
have the system evaluate their concepts maps to try to improve their
knowledge of a topic and their score. The scoring system is based
on an expert system that compares a student's concept map to the
instructor's concept map. The system can be configured to provide
hints based on the number of attempts and/or the score.
Part of the project is to assess student class performance when using
the concept map tool as compared to more traditional teaching
methods. The system will be used in several university courses
where historical data exists.
The system includes Java, JSP, and MySQL database components. The expert
system runs under the Java
Expert System Shell (Jess)
Some of the recent projects of note in which I have participated as a
key contributor include the following.
- I created a content management system in Java and JSP customized for a
department at a university.
- I was the chief architect of a distributed system to
integrate and run a number of legacy decision support systems to solve
a problem in agriculture. The system included a distributed
programming language that allowed the decision support systems to share
data, an expert system to coordinate selection and execution of
decision support systems based on a problem-domain goal, and a
communications system built on the
Concordia mobile objects subsystem. In another related project, I used
simulated annealing to solve a geospatial problem involving assigning
fields to farms in a watershed to meet constraints about the number and
types of farms.
- I designed and developed a thread-based, object-oriented protocol
a distributed library catalog system. This framework allowed
portions of the information retrieval process for the catalog to run in
- I ported and enhanced the performance of a university mail system
written in C++.
- I developed, as part of my dissertation requirement, Kalos, a
knowledge-based natural language generation system that used both
stylistic and conceptual revision to write and polish part of a user's
guide for a microprocessor. (See “Kalos -- A
System for Natural Language
Generation with Revision'' with Dr. J. Terry Nutter, Proceedings
of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, August, 1994 and
Intensive Natural Language Generation with Revision, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, May 1994.)
- I developed a GIS-based mapping component using C# and
ArcObjects. The component was integrated into a decision support
system dealing with pastureland management and greenhouse gases.
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2005 by Ben E. Cline