Dr. Dan Levine started the day with a plunge into the anatomy of the brain and how brain regions appear to be mapped to higher-level cognitive function. He discussed decision theory and risk assessment. Some of the points reminded me of the blog post I wrote a year or so ago on the neocortex. Although fascinating stuff, the link to hands-on business rules implementation is fairly tenuous.
Rolando Hernandez returned to discuss different "decision metaphors", such as IF-THEN-ELSE rules, decision tables and decision trees. He showed using directed acyclic graphs (decision trees with node sharing) as well as using Excel as a quick-n-dirty execution and simulation application. He reprised some of his themes from yesterday.
Carlos Serrano-Morales and Carole-Ann Berlioz-Matignon from Fair Isaac described the Fair Isaac decision management "blueprint". Basically, putting in place a feedback loop that allows automated decisions to progressively become more effective. The feedback loop is based on predictive models, optimization and case management. Carole-Ann described scorecards, the development process for scorecards, and how they can be used to incorporate feedback.
Jacob Feldman described the similarities and synergies between business rules, optimization and constraint programming (CP). He discussed a number of real-world CP applications he worked on, using ILOG CP and optimization technology. He used a nice interactive demo application to show constraints being propagated and solutions being found for several common domain problems: scheduling, resource allocation. Jacob also explained his vision for a Common CP API, an API that allows application developers to access different CP engines through an adapter layer.
John McQuary described knowledge management for a large Intranet. Flour has an in-house rule engine to implement 3D pipe routing plans. He also discussed a next-generation system that will use a rules-based explanation facility to detail why design decisions were made, based on engineering standards and best practice documents.
Carlos Serrano-Morales returned to give a pretty standard presentation on integrating BRMS within enterprise applications and the BRMS feature set. He included some interesting slides on DAGs and EDAG notation (DAGs with exceptions) for decision trees.
Keith Lindsey and I finished the day with a presentation on using JRules within a grid architecture at UBS Bank, and a review of the JRules sequential mode. The presentation went well and we had some good questions and discussion after the session, and in the bar afterwards.