Benjamin Grosof, PhD

Software Technology Innovator and Senior Manager
  • Industry leader in knowledge representation, reasoning, and acquisition   
  • Pioneer in semantic rules technology
Presently: Formerly:
  • Senior Research Program Manager, Knowledge Systems, at Vulcan Inc.   
  • MIT professor
  • IBM Research scientist
Also:


Consulting     
Bio     
Contact     

Papers, Talks, Software

  • NB: More updates to this website are pending for 2010+ papers and talks; for now, see the SILK and Coherent KS websites for most of those.
Former Vulcan position      MIT-days (projects etc. while at MIT 2000-2007)   

Search this site  

Site updated on 2013-06-16.

  • Expertise in IT Research -- Science, Design, and Leadership
  • Semantic Technology, Semantic Web, Knowledge Integration, and AI
  • E-Business, E-Services, and E-Science
    • Rules and Business Policies
    • E-Commerce, Financial, and Trust
    • Social Knowledge Networking and Web 3.0

 

Benjamin Grosof -- Consulting

President, Benjamin Grosof & Associates, LLC

This is an innovation services consulting firm.

Since 2000, I have conducted an expert consulting business, including:

  • Strategy and technology advising
  • Expert witness work
  • Customized teaching and executive education
  • Large company, small-company/entrepreneurial, and government/non-profit clients
Expertise topic areas:
  • Business Rules and Business Policies, including security authorization policies
  • E-Commerce and E-Contracts, including shopping and advertising
  • Semantic Technology and Knowledge Representation, including especially rule-based and its combination with ontologies
  • Semantic Web and Semantic Services/SOA
  • Financial Services

NB: I am also co-founder of Coherent Knowlege Systems, an info technology product/services start-up.

Contact info for consulting matters.

Benjamin Grosof's home page.

 

Bios -- Short and Long:

Short Biography:

Benjamin Grosof is co-founder and co-lead of Coherent Knowledge Systems, a new startup on semantic technology that is commercializing a major research breakthrough in logic-based artificial intelligence. He also is president of Benjamin Grosof & Associates, an expert consulting business on software technology and related strategy. Previously he was a senior research program manager at Vulcan Inc. (2007-2013), the asset management company of Paul G. Allen (co-founder of Microsoft). There he conceived and led a large research program in the area of rule-based semantic technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). Before Vulcan, he was an IT professor at MIT Sloan (2000-2007) and a senior software scientist at IBM Research (1988-2000). He has pioneered semantic technology and industry standards for: rules; the combination of rules with ontologies; the application of rules in e-commerce, e-contracts, and policies; and the acquisition of rules and ontologies from natural language (NL). He co-founded the influential RuleML industry standards design effort and prototyped it in SweetRules, the main bases for the W3C Rule Interchange Format (RIF) standard. He led the invention of several fundamental technical advances in knowledge representation, including courteous defeasibility, restraint bounded rationality, and the rule-based technique which rapidly became the currently dominant approach to commercial implementation of W3C OWL (Web Ontology Language) and the main basis of its RL (Rules Profile) standard. He also has extensive experience in machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, and user interaction design. His background includes four major industry software releases, two years in software startups, a Stanford PhD, a Harvard BA, and over 50 refereed publications.

More Biography:

(Continuing and elaborating from the Short Biography above:)

He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, with specialty in AI, and a BA in Applied Mathematics (with specialty in Economics and Management Science) from Harvard University.

Two W3C industry standards are based largely on his work: Rule Interchange Format (RIF, 2010) and Web Ontology Language's rule-based subset (OWL 2 RL Profile, 2009). His notable technical contributions also include fundamental advances in conflict handling for rules (i.e., defaults) and integration of rules with machine learning. He co-founded the International Conference on Rules and Rule Markup Languages for the Semantic Web (which since became the RR and RuleML conferences). He is author of over 50 refereed publications, four major industry software releases, and two patents. He has interacted extensively with a large variety of companies, at CXO level as well as technically, in the course of his research, standards, and consulting activities.

At Vulcan, he conceived and led a large advanced research program in the area of rule-based semantic technologies and AI, within Vulcan's overall Project Halo. This included:

  • creation of the game-changing SILK knowledge representation (KR) core technology, which enables powerfully expressive yet scalable semantic web rules that are defeasible, higher-order/meta-, omni-directional, and reactive;
  • applying its KR techniques immediately to scientific question-answering, search, and semantic wiki knowledge networking; and
  • exploring its longer-term implications in business and government.

At MIT and IBM, his research involved the creation of applied, as well as core, semantic technologies for web-based e-services and business communication. This included pioneering work in three areas:

  • e-commerce, including business policies for e-contracts, shopping, and advertising, as well as early commercial intelligent agents;
  • information integration in financial services and reporting; and
  • policy-based security/privacy trust authorization.
It also included a variety of other application domains, particularly: e-services engineering, including lifecycle reuse of knowledge and business process management; business and defense intelligence; health care patient records; personalization, including in communications and news; operations management for customer service; and travel. He was prime designer and project leader for the SweetRules open source platform for semantic rules and ontologies on the web (2004), while principal investigator and rules co-lead in the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) program. He was a lead author of the Semantic Web Services Framework (2005). He conceived and led IBM CommonRules (1999) and co-led its application piloting for rule-based XML agent contracting in EECOMS, a $29 Million NIST industry-government consortium project on manufacturing supply chain collaboration.

More Bio -- including Personal:

I grew up in Manhattan. Before IBM, I had experience at two software startups in Cambridge, MA. I also interned as a financial analyst in a Wall Street bank stock specialist firm.

My wife Janine Bloomfield is a writer, drawing upon a strong science and policy background. She obtained her PhD in Forestry and Environmental Science at Yale University, and was formerly Senior Scientist on global climate change at Environmental Defense (1995-2003), and an independent consultant in science education and policy (2003-2004), including as client the New England Science Center Collaborative.

We have three wondrous and inspiring children: Isaac Bloomfield Grosof (b. 1995), Eliana Bloomfield Grosof (b. 1997), and Jacob Bloomfield Grosof (b. 2003).

My other interests and experiences include:

  • dancing, music; radio-DJ'ing.
  • science fiction.
  • making visual art and computer art; museum'ing.
  • hiking; frisbee.

For yet more bio, especially details about my IBM projects 1988-2000, for now see my old IBM biography.

 

Contact Info

Consulting Contact info

Benjamin Grosof, PhD
Benjamin Grosof & Associates, LLC
5 Wembley Lane
Mercer Island, WA 98040, USA (3 miles east of Seattle)
Web: http://www.mit.edu/~bgrosof/#Consulting
Email: "1st-name DOT surname AT [GGG]", where [GGG] is a very well known email service run by Google, with five letters (beginning with the same first letter as "Google") followed by "DOT com".

Personal Contact info

Benjamin Grosof

Email: "1st-name DOT surname AT [GGG]", where [GGG] is a very well known email service run by Google, with five letters (beginning with the same first letter as "Google") followed by "DOT com".

Web homepage:

Current main homepage is http://www.mit.edu/~bgrosof/.
     (Note that http://ebusiness.mit.edu/bgrosof, my old homepage, redirects to it.
      See the old homepage about how to modify old URL's to work on the new site.)

 

Searching this site by keyword:

Most stuff on this site that you would want to search for by keyword is mentioned on this single webpage, so just use the browser Find feature (usually Ctrl+F) starting from the top of the page.

 

Former Vulcan Position Description

From July 2007 to March 2013, I was full time at Vulcan Inc., the parent company that oversees business investments and philanthropy for Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

In my position as Senior Research Program Manager, Knowledge Systems, I led the creation and management of a new advanced research program on semantic technology and artificial intelligence. This Halo Advanced Research (HalAR) program complemented and expanded the scope of the previously existing Project Halo, focusing on deeper underlying technologies, new domains, and longer horizons. A major part of this work was creating and leading Vulcan's SILK system for advanced semantic rule-based knowledge representation and reasoning. I also led related aspects of research work on the two other main systems in Project Halo: AURA and SMW+.

The research was conducted within Vulcan's Technology R&D division, notable for having developed SpaceShipOne, the first privately owned, manned rocket to attain suborbital space, which won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004. I worked very closely with both Mark Greaves who led the overall Project Halo, and Dave Gunning who was another senior program manager in Project Halo. (Mark was formerly a researcher at Boeing and then a program manager at DARPA, focusing on semantic web and intelligent agents. Dave was formerly also a program manager at DARPA, focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning.)

I continued my consulting practice part-time while employed full-time at Vulcan, as part of my arrangement with Vulcan.

 

Papers, Invited Talks, Software, etc. (selected)

  • Note: More updates to this website are pending for 2010+ papers and talks; for now, see the SILK and Coherent KS websites for most of those.

      Preface Notes:
      • "Recent" here means since approximately summer 1999; "Earlier" means before then.
      • "Papers" here means: journal, conference/workshop, and working papers; and technical reports as well.
      • Recent papers are organized to group together successor/predecessor versions, as papers evolve to be extended and revised. I.e., each entry also often includes an extended/revised working paper version and/or earlier versions.
        • Conference/workshop talk slides, too, are usually included with the papers.
        • For chronological sequencing purposes, the date is taken to be that of the most recent refereed publication version or, lacking that, of the most recent working paper or technical report version.

 

Selected Recent Papers Categorized by Topic: (chronological within each category) (NB: needs updating!)

!!NOTE!!: the MOST RECENT papers may not yet be listed here, but ONLY in the CHRONOLOGICAL listing of papers, due to lags in website maintenance/editing.

 

*RulesKR: Rules and Ontologies knowledge representation for the Semantic Web and Semantic Web Services:

    • Including: Situated and Courteous Logic Programs; Description Logic Programs; RuleML, SWRL, SWSL, and rule system Interoperability; and Courteous Inheritance. (With motivating examples usually from e-commerce policies and processes.)

*BizSWS: Business Implications of Semantic Web Services:

*Other Knowledge-Based E-Commerce (including AI, agents):

 

Selected Earlier Papers Categorized by Topic: Refereed Publications and Research Reports (1995-1999)

*Courteous Logic Programs (Earlier):

*Examples and demos of business rules using Courteous LP for e-commerce (Earlier):

*Situated Logic Programs (Earlier):

*XML Agent Communication (Earlier):

 

Selected Recent Papers organized Chronologically: (but grouped so that successor/predecessor versions are together)

    • Note: More updates are pending for 2010+ papers and talks; for now, see the SILK and Coherent KS websites for most of those.

 

Recent Standards Proposal Reports:

  • "Rule Markup Language Initiative (RuleML)". 2001-present

    • Standards Proposal Reports and Material on the RuleML language and Initiative. website.
      Currently Versions 0.8+ of 2004-2005, revised from Versions 0.7+ of Jan. 2001 - 2003.
      By Harold Boley, Benjamin Grosof, Said Tabet, and additional collaborators in the RuleML Initiative (NB: authorship among these three is alphabetic). Includes extensive documentation, news, discussion, summaries, presentations.

      Comment: The leading emerging standard for interoperable web rules in XML, including for semantic web and business rules. It is based on declarative logic programs, including situated courteous logic programs (SCLP), along with first order logic.
      The ECRA journal paper, and the ISWC-2006 Tutorial slides, each provide an overview of RuleML including particularly SCLP RuleML.
      SweetRules V2 provides a set of reference implementations in open source for RuleML inferencing and translation, supporting SCLP and SWRL.

      RuleML is being used heavily by the Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI) in its Language (SWSL), and is beginning to be used by Object Management Group (OMG) in its production rules standards committee. (As of Feb. 2005.)

      A Google search on "RuleML" yields a hit count of over 20,000 as of Feb. 15, 2005.

      Revisions and extensions are in progress, with a new major version planned for release in spring or summer 2005.

  • "FOL RuleML: The First-Order Logic Web Language". 2004-present

    • Standards Proposal Research Report.
      Version 0.9 of 2004-11-02 (revised from version 0.7 of 2004-08-10.)
      By Harold Boley, Mike Dean, Benjamin Grosof, Michael Sintek, Bruce Spencer, Said Tabet, and Gerd Wagner. An emerging industry standards proposal that is an ...
      Acknowledged W3C Submission. A W3C Submission once acknowledged by W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium) becomes a technical report document of W3C.

      Comment: An interoperable web syntax for First Order Logic, as an addition to the RuleML family of sublanguages.

  • "SWRL: A Semantic Web Rules Language Combining OWL and RuleML". Report, 2004.

  • "Semantic Web Services Language Requirements". 2003-present

    • Version 1 of Oct. 2003.
      Edited by Benjamin Grosof, Michael Gruninger, Michael Kifer, David Martin, Deborah McGuinness, Bijan Barsia, and Austin Tate (NB: editorship order is alphabetic). The editors are also the primary authors, but the full set of authors includes a larger set of members of the SWSL Committee. SWSL is the Language part of the Semantic Web Services Initiatve (SWSI).

      Comment: Revised version is in progress, in tandem with preparation of major SWSL design research report planned for release in spring 2005.

  • "Semantic Web Services Language". In Preparation 2004-present

    • Version 1 preliminary draft, planned for release in spring 2005.
      By Steve Battle, Daniela Berardi, Benjamin Grosof, Michael Gruninger, Rick Hull, Michael Kifer, David Martin, Sheila McIlraith, Jianwen Su, and others. (NB: authorship set is preliminary and its order is alphabetic). These are the members of the SWSL Committee. SWSL is the Language part of the Semantic Web Services Initiatve (SWSI).

 

Invited Talks: (slidesets -- usually quite detailed;   includes tutorials)

Note: More updates are pending for 2010+ papers and talks; for now, see the SILK and Coherent KS websites for most of those.

 

Software:

  • Flora-2 (2008-), is an open source rule system that supports highly expressive yet scalable declarative knowledge representation (KR). SILK relied on Flora-2 as its core (KR) reasoning engine. Flora-2 supports most of Rulelog, although it lacks the full omniformity expressive feature.
  • SILK: The SILK effort (Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge; 2008-2013) was part of Vulcan Inc.'s Project Halo. The SILK effort aimed to provide key infrastructure for widely-authored VLKBs (Very Large Knowledge Bases) for business and science that answer questions, proactively supply information, and reason powerfully. The SILK system it developed supports Rulelog, with components for reasoning, web knowledge interchange, and collaborative knowledge acquisition.
  • Rulelog is a fully semantic rule logic that extends, and transforms into, extends declarative logic programs (LP). Rulelog supports defeasible higher order logic formulas. Rulelog newly synergizes several major strands of pure-research progress in KR based on extensions of LP. LP is the core KR of RuleML and Rule Interchange Format (RIF) as well as of databases (SQL, XQuery, and SPARQL) and most commercial implementations of OWL ontologies. Rulelog adds: prioritized defaults cf. courteous and Defeasible Logic; higher-order and frames cf. F-Logic; bounded rationality cf. restraint; tight integration of weakened full classical logic (including OWL); actions and events cf. production rules, Event-Condition-Action rules, and Situated/Production LP.

    The SILK approach has the potential to effectively interchange and integrate a high percentage of the world's structured knowledge starting from today's legacy forms. "SILK" stands for "Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge", what the next generation Web will be spun from.

    Status: SILK V1 has been completed, and its reasoning engine is being used within the Vulcan Project Halo team. SILK V2 is under development.

    For more info, see:

  • Vulcan Inc.'s Project Halo includes also AURA and SMW+.

  • AURA (2004-) is a system for knowledge base authoring and question-answering in college-level sciences. It is part of Vulcan Inc.'s Project Halo.
  • SMW+ (2007-), i.e., the Halo extension of Semantic MediaWiki, is a system for semantic wikis that extends the software that Wikipedia runs on. It is part of Vulcan Inc.'s Project Halo.
  • SweetRules (released 2005) is a first-of-a-kind open source platform for semantic web business rules
    • SweetRules (2001-) is a uniquely powerful integrated set of tools for semantic web rules and ontologies, including translation, inferencing, analysis, and authoring. V2.0 was released in Dec. 2004 on SemWebCentral, the premier open source software repository and website for the semantic web R&D community. SweetRules' pluggability and composition capabilities enable new components to be added relatively quickly. Implemented in Java, SweetRules has a compact codebase (~20K lines of code total for several dozen tools). Hundreds of users have already downloaded it, inspired in part by its well-received demonstrations in detailed presentations at the DAML Principal Investigators Meeting and the International Semantic Web Conference tutorial program. See the SweetRules website for more info and the downloadable.

    • "Semantic Web Enabling Technology (SWEET)". SWEET ("Semantic WEb Enabling Technology") is an overall set of tools that Benjamin Grosof's group (with collaborators) has been developing since 2001.

  • SweetDeal (2002-) is an e-contracting system for specifying, communicating, negotiating, executing, and monitoring rule-based e-contracts.
    • SweetDeal uses SweetRules. SweetDeal is described in the 2004 IJEC paper and several other papers and talks. It was most recently demonstrated at the Winter 2004 DAML PI Meeting.
      A user-downloadable version is in progress.

  • SweetPH (2003-) is a system for translating structured business process ontology knowledge from the MIT Process Handbook into interoperably shareable semantic web form -- specifically, into RuleML. SweetPH is also described more briefly in several others of our recent invited talks.

    An open source release of the SweetPH software is in preparation, to be released probably in summer 2006.

  • ECOIN "Extended COntext INterchange" (2002-) is a system for ontology-based and context-based knowledge integration in financial and other domains. It is described in several papers, including ICIS-2002, WITS-2002, WITS-2004, and ISWC-2004. The prototype is available at the COIN project site.

  • IBM CommonRules (1999-), a Java software library for inter-operable business rules in XML. By Benjamin N. Grosof, Hoi Y. Chan, et al. Downloadable under free trial license (with documentation) from IBM alphaWorks, described also at the IBM Business Rules project page. Version 1.0 July 1999, Version 3.3 currently.
    Comment: CommonRules is described in several papers, e.g., EC-99 and ECRA 2004. CommonRules includes implementation of Courteous Logic Programs and their XML encoding -- Business Rules Markup Language. Provides capabilities for business rules: translation between multiple commercially important rule system and agent communication formats, while maintaining deep shared semantics; modular modification and prioritized conflict handling; procedural attachments for embedding in intelligent agents and object-oriented software systems. Over 2000 downloads to date.

    Examples of e-commerce rule sets are included in the download, e.g., about ordering lead time, book pricing, refund policies, and credit reporting.

     

    Recent Miscellaneous: (categorized by type)

    *Workshops Chaired:

    *Conference Panels:

    *Theses Supervised

    o PhD Dissertations Supervised:

    • "Essays on Impact of Information Technology", by Sumit Bhansali, MIT Sloan IT PhD dissertation, Aug. 2007. I was a committee member and reader, especially for the Essay "Extending the SweetDeal Approach for E-Procurement using SweetRules and RuleML".

    • "A Policy-Based Approach to Governing Autonomous Behavior in Distributed Environments", by Lalana Kagal, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Computer Science PhD dissertation, Nov. 2004. She is now a research scientist at MIT in Tim Berners-Lee's group. I was committee member and reader.

    • "Information Integration using Contextual Knowledge and Ontology Merging", by Aykut Firat, MIT Sloan IT PhD dissertation, Aug. 2003. He is now at Northeastern as faculty. I was co-adviser.

    • "Delegation Logic: A Logic-based Approach to Distributed Authorization" by Ninghui Li, NYU Computer Science PhD dissertation, Aug. 2000. He was subsequently at Stanford for post-doc, and now is at Purdue as faculty. I was co-adviser.

    • In addition, I collaborated with Raphael Volz for a portion of his PhD dissertation research, which was based mainly on refining and extending the Description Logic Programs approach first published in my WWW-2003 paper.
      • "Web Ontology Reasoning with Logic Databases", by Raphael Volz, U. Karlsruhe (Germany) Computer Science PhD dissertation, 2004. He is now an IT consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, and continues research part-time on the side. I was collaborator.
        Comment: in accessing the above link to his dissertation, one gets to a somewhat confusing-looking page in German that contains the table of contents. Scroll down to the bottom to find the link to the pdf or postscript of the whole document.

    o Masters Theses Supervised:

    o Other Students:

    • Other students whose research I have co-supervised for a portion of their studies include:
      • Daniel M. Reeves (U. Michigan PhD student) who co-authored three papers with me on the Contractbot approach (2000-2002).
      • James Youll (MIT masters): I was a reader for his masters thesis on e-commerce communications (2001).
      • Xiaocheng Luan (UMBC PhD student) who as summer student helped implement IBM CommonRules (1998).
      • Jordan Low (MIT undergrad) who helped implement a book-buying shopbot research prototype as my summer student at IBM Research (1999).

    • In addition, I was Coordinator for the overall MIT Sloan Information Technologies PhD Program during 2001-2007, serving as secondary adviser to all those PhD students during that time (approximately 10 altogether).

    *Media Interviews/Articles:

     

    Earlier Papers Etc. organized Chronologically: ("Earlier" means before about summer 1999).

    These include: most publications, reports, and patents from 1984-1999; and a few selected project overview talks from 1997-1999.

        Preface notes about: obtaining papers not accessible from this page, dates and superceded versions, refereeing, AI terminology contained/omitted in paper titles, the organizations and conferences mentioned, postscript and pdf viewers, alternative ways to obtain some of the papers from IBM websites, etc.

    • [99l] "IBM CommonRules Readme" (Version 1.0 on July 29, 1999; revised Aug. 09, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Hoi Y. Chan.
      Readme included as the main documentation in the IBM CommonRules alpha prototype Web release --Version 1.0 was on July 30, 1999 on AlphaWorks.
      See the AlphaWorks site, go to CommonRules, go to the downloadable documentation zip file.
      Comments:
      • Updated versions (currently V3.3) are available on AlphaWorks cf. above.

    • [99k] "A Courteous Compiler From Generalized Courteous Logic Programs To Ordinary Logic Programs" (July 20, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof.
      Report included as part of documentation in the IBM CommonRules 1.0 alpha prototype Web release of July 30, 1999 on AlphaWorks.
      You can get full paper in postscript (sometimes this does not print; includes a figure not contained in the pdf version) or in pdf (suitable for printing) format.
      Comments:
      • This describes the version of courteous logic programs implemented in the IBM CommonRules 1.0 alpha prototype release available free on AlphaWorks.
      • This extends and complements [99a].
      • [99b] is complementary, and includes a long example.

    • [99j] Project Overview Talk Slides: "Business Rules for Electronic Commerce: Interoperability and Conflict Handling" (July 28, 1999).
      By Benjamin N. Grosof.
      You can get these project-overview talk slides in HTML. You can also get this set of slides instead as a single file in pdf or postscript.
      Comments:
      Complements the IBM Research project's home-page overview. Updates and amplifies [98b].

    • [99i] "DIPLOMAT: Business Rules Interlingua and Conflict Handling, for E-Commerce Agent Applications (Overview of System Demonstration)" (July 31, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the IJCAI-99 Workshop on Agent-mediated Electronic Commerce (AMEC-99) (National Conference on Artificial Intelligence). Held Stockholm, Sweden, July 31, 1999, in conjunction with the IJCAI-99 conference..
      You can get full paper in postscript or in pdf format.
      Comments: This is a short refereed paper (2 proceedings pages) describing a demo.
      See also [99b] which this complements.

    • [99h] "DIPLOMAT: Compiling Prioritized Default Rules Into Ordinary Logic Programs, for Electronic Commerce Applications (Extended Abstract of Intelligent Systems Demonstration)" (July 20, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In Proceedings of AAAI-99 (National Conference on Artificial Intelligence), edited by James Hendler and Devika Subramanian. AAAI Press /MIT Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA / Cambridge, MA, USA. Held Orlando, FL, USA, July 18-22, 1999.
      You can get abstract.
      Comments: This is a short refereed paper (2 proceedings pages) describing a demo.
      See instead [99b] for an extended version.

    • [99g] "Proceedings of the AAAI-99 Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Electronic Commerce (AIEC-99)" (July 18, 1999), edited by Tim Finin and Benjamin N. Grosof. (NB: editorship order is alphabetic.) Available as a AAAI Technical Report. AAAI Press / MIT Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA / Cambridge, MA, USA. Held Orlando, FL, USA, July 18, 1999.

    • [99f] "A Logic-based Knowledge Representation for Authorization with Delegation (Extended Abstract)" (June 28, 1999). By Ninghui Li, Joan Feigenbaum, and Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the 12th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop (CSFW-99). Held Mordano, Italy, June 28-30, 1999.
      You can get abstract.
      Comments: [99e] is an extended version containing full proofs. But see instead the final journal version.

    • [99e] "A Logic-based Knowledge Representation for Authorization with Delegation" (May 28, 1999). By Ninghui Li, Benjamin N. Grosof, and Joan Feigenbaum.
      IBM Research Report RC 21492.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.
      Comments: This is an extended version of [99f], containing full proofs. But see instead the final journal version.

    • [99d] "An Approach to using XML and a Rule-based Content Language with an Agent Communication Language" (May 28, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Yannis Labrou. In: Proceedings of the IJCAI-99 Workshop on Agent Communication Languages (ACL-99). Held Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 1, 1999, in conjunction with the IJCAI-99 conference..
      Paper also available as IBM Research Report RC 21491 (May 28, 1999).
      Revised version appears in the book "Issues in Agent Communication", edited by Frank Dignum and Mark Greaves, Springer-Verlag 2000.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.

    • [99c] "Towards a Declarative Language for Negotiating Executable Contracts" (May 11, 1999). By Daniel M. Reeves, Benjamin N. Grosof, Michael P. Wellman, and Hoi Y. Chan. In: Proceedings of the AAAI-99 Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Electronic Commerce (AIEC-99), edited by Tim Finin and Benjamin N. Grosof. Proceedings available as a AAAI Technical Report. AAAI Press / MIT Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA / Cambridge, MA, USA. Held Orlando, FL, USA, July 18, 1999.
      Paper also available as IBM Research Report RC 21476 (May 11, 1999).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format .

    • [99b] "DIPLOMAT: Compiling Prioritized Default Rules Into Ordinary Logic Programs, for Electronic Commerce Applications (Extended Abstract of Intelligent Systems Demonstration)" (May 7, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof. IBM Research Report RC 21473.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.
      Comments: This is an extended version of [99h]: it augments that with a long demo example.
      [99a] is complementary, and gives technical details.

    • [99a] "Compiling Prioritized Default Rules Into Ordinary Logic Programs" (May 7, 1999). By Benjamin N. Grosof.
      IBM Research Report RC 21472.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.
      Comments: [99k] extends this. [99b] is complementary, and includes a long example.

    • [98c]Patent: "Flexible Procedural Attachment to Situate Reasoning Systems"
      U.S. Patent 5,778,150 (granted July 7, 1998; filed July 1, 1996). By Benjamin N. Grosof, David W. Levine, and Hoi Y. Chan. (Ordering listed on patent document of inventors is always simply alphabetic.)
      You can get the patent document, or its abstract, at the U.S. patents server.
      Comments: Complements and extends the description of situated reasoning in [97a].

    • [98b]"Overview Talk Slides: Business Rules for Electronic Commerce" (March 12, 1998).
      By Benjamin N. Grosof.
      You can get color talk slides in pdf or in postscript format. You can instead get this in black-and-white in pdf or in postscript format.
      Comments: See instead [99j] for an updated, more detailed version.

    • [98a]"Dynamics of an Information-Filtering Economy" (April 10 1998).
      By Jeffrey O. Kephart, James E. Hanson, David W. Levine, Benjamin N. Grosof, Jakka Sairamesh, Richard B. Segal, and Steve R. White.
      In: Proc. 2nd Intl. Wksh. on Cooperative Information Agents (CIA-98), held Paris, France, July 4-7. 1998.
      You can get full paper in HTML; or in postscript or in pdf format.
      Comment: This line of work has continued in the IBM Research project on Information Economies led by Jeffrey Kephart.

    • [97d] "Courteous Logic Programs: Prioritized Conflict Handling for Rules" (Dec. 30 1997, revised from May 8 1997). By Benjamin N. Grosof. IBM Research Report RC 20836.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.
      Comments: This is an extended version of [97c], and also essentially supersumes [96c] and [96b]. This includes TALK SLIDES as an appendix.
      Correction and Version Note: Theorem 25 (Preservation in Prioritized Merging) contains a bug. The theorem statement needs some additional restricting conditions. Details are in a forthcoming version of the paper.

    • [97c] "Prioritized Conflict Handling for Logic Programs" (Oct. 12 1997). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Logic Programming (ILPS-97), edited by Jan Maluszynski, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, pages 197-211. Held Port Jefferson, NY, USA, Oct. 12-17, 1997. (Book title is: "Logic Programming: Proceedings of the 1997 International Symposium".)
      You can get abstract.
      Comment: See instead [97d] for an extended version.

    • [97b] "Emergent Behavior in Information Economies" (Dec. 01 1997).
      By Jeffrey O. Kephart, James E. Hanson, David W. Levine, Benjamin N. Grosof, Jakka Sairamesh, Richard B. Segal, and Steve R. White.
      Presented as poster paper at the International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS '98), held in Paris, France, July 3-8, 1998. Two-page poster abstract in Proceedings of ICMAS '98, published by IEEE Computer Society Press.
      Comment: see instead [98a], of which this is essentially a condensed version.

    • [97a] "Building Commercial Agents: An IBM Research Perspective (Invited Talk)" (Apr. 21, 1997). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on The Practical Applications of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Technology (PAAM97), edited by Barry Crabtree. The Practical Applications Company, Blackpool, Lancashire, UK. Held London, UK, April 21-23, 1997.
      Also available as IBM Research Report RC 20835 (May 08 1997).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format .
      Comments: This is an overview paper presented as a 1-hour invited conference talk.
      See further details in the patent [98c] which resulted from this work: about situated reasoning.

    • [96c] "Practical Prioritized Defaults Via Logic Programs" (June 10, 1996). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning, edited by Moises Goldszmidt and Vladimir Lifschitz. Held Timberline, OR, USA, June 10-12, 1996.
      Comment: See instead [96b] which is the extended version.

    • [96b] "Practical Prioritized Defaults Via Logic Programs" (June 7 1996; revised from May 20 1996). By Benjamin N. Grosof. IBM Research Report RC 20464.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format.
      Comments: This is an extended version of [96c]. However:
      See instead [97d] which in turn essentially supersumes this.

    • [96a] "Approaches to Authoring of Rules for Intelligent Agents" (Mar. 21, 1996). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the 1996 AAAI Spring Symposium on Acquisition, Learning, and Demonstration: Automating Tasks for Users, edited by Yolanda Gil. Held at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, Mar. 1997. AAAI Technical Report SS-96-02, AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA.
      You can get short full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format -- it's a 3-page extended abstract.

    • [95i] "Reusable Architecture for Embedding Rule-based Intelligence in Information Agents" (Dec. 01 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof, David W. Levine, Hoi Y. Chan, Colin J. Parris, and Joshua S. Auerbach. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Intelligent Information Agents, at the ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM-95), edited by Tim Finin and James Mayfield. Held Baltimore, MD, USA, Dec. 1-2, 1995.
      Also available as IBM Research Report RC 20305 (Dec. 05 1995).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.

    • [95h] "Globenet and RAISE: Intelligent Agents for Networked Newsgroups and Customer Service Support" (Nov. 10 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Davis A. Foulger. In: Proceedings of the 1995 AAAI Fall Symposium on AI Applications in Knowledge Navigation and Retrieval edited by Robin Burke. Held Nov. 10-12, 1995, at MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA. AAAI Technical Report FS-95-03, AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA.
      Also available as IBM Research Report RC 20226 (Oct. 17 1995).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format .

    • [95g] "Itinerant Agents for Mobile Computing" (Oct. 1995). By David Chess, Benjamin N. Grosof, Colin G. Harrison, David W. Levine, and Colin J. Parris (NB: authorship order is alphabetic). In: IEEE Personal Communications Magazine 2(5):34-49, Oct. 1995.
      (Note that IEEE Personal Communications Magazine has since changed its name to IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine.)
      Reprinted, with updated preface, in: Readings in Agents, eds. Michael Huhns, Munindar Singh, and Les Gasser; Morgan Kaufmann, 1998 (Collection of influential papers).
      You can get introduction and summary .
      Comments: Substantial refereed technical paper, highly cited, similar to journal article.
      Preprint was available (now copyright is restricted) as IBM Research Report RC 20010 (Oct. 17 1995, revised from Mar. 27 1995).

    • [95f] "Defeasible and Pointwise Circumscription: Preliminary Report" (July 07 1995, slightly revised from Jan. 09 1993, revised from Apr. 1992). By Benjamin N. Grosof. IBM Research Report RC 20125.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format.
      Comments: Original version was distributed as a companion paper to [93a] when [93a] was presented at Commonsense '93.

    • [95e] "Implementing Prioritized Defaults and Specificity by Transforming into Parallel Defaults" (Aug. 21 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the IJCAI-95 Workshop on Applications and Implementations of Nonmonotonic Reasoning Systems, edited by Rachel Ben-Eliyahu. Held at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-95), Aug. 21, 1995 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Information about the Workshop is also available through the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Menlo Park, CA, USA, and through the editor (rachelb@cs.technion.ac.il).
      Comment: See instead [95a] which is the extended version.

    • [95d] "Transforming Prioritized Defaults and Specificity into Parallel Defaults" (Aug. 18 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-95), edited by Philippe Besnard and Steve Hanks. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, CA, USA. Held Aug. 18-20, 1995 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
      Comment: See instead [95a] which is the extended version.

    • [95c] "Conflict Handling in Advice Taking and Instruction" (July 09 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the ML-95 Workshop on Agents that Learn From Other Agents, edited by Diana Gordon (gordon@aic.nrl.navy.mil). Held at the Twelfth International Conference on Machine Learning (ML-95), Tahoe City, CA, USA, July 9, 1995.
      Comment: See instead [95b] which is the extended version.

    • [95b] "Conflict Handling in Advice Taking and Instruction" (July 07 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof. IBM Research Report RC 20123.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.
      Comment: This is the extended version of the workshop publication [95c].

    • [95a] "Transforming Prioritized Defaults and Specificity into Parallel Defaults" (Mar. 09 1995). By Benjamin N. Grosof. IBM Research Report RC 20066.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format.
      Comment: this is the extended version of [95d] and [95e].

    • [93d] "New Prioritization Methods for Conflict Management" (Aug. 1993). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of IJCAI-93 Workshop on Computational Models of Conflict Management in Cooperative Problem-Solving, edited by Mark Klein. Held at International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-93).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format .

    • [93c] "Sympathetically Solitary Default Theories: a New Case of `Easy' Non-Monotonic Reasoning" (June 28 1993). By Benjamin N. Grosof. Presented At: the Second International Workshop on Non-Monotonic Reasoning and Logic Programming (LPNMR-93), chaired by Luis Moniz Pereira and Anil Nerode. Held June 28-30, 1993, Lisbon, Portugal. (This was one of several accepted papers omitted from the printed Proceedings at the last moment due to lack of space.)
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format .
      Comment: The content of [93c] is adapted and revised from PhD dissertation [92e]'s chapter 6.

    • [93b] "Relationships Between Non-Monotonic Reasoning and Incremental Learning: Preliminary Outline of Invited Talk" (Mar. 23 1993). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the 1993 AAAI Spring Symposium on Training Issues in Incremental Learning, edited by Antoine Cornuejols. AAAI Technical Report SS-93-06, AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA. Held Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format .
      Comment: [92d] was attached as a companion paper in the above Proceedings.

    • [93a] "Prioritizing Multiple, Contradictory Sources in Common-Sense Learning By Being Told; or, Advice-Taker Meets Bureaucracy" (Jan. 11 1993). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Logical Formalizations of Common-Sense Reasoning (Common-Sense '93), edited by Leora Morgenstern. Proceedings available from editor (leora@watson.ibm.com). Held at Guest Quarters Hotel, Austin, TX, USA, Jan. 11-13, 1993.
      Also available as IBM Research Report RC 20124 (July 07 1995)
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format .

    • [92e] PHD DISSERTATION: "Updating and Inference in Non-Monotonic Theories" (Oct. 24 1992). By Benjamin N. Grosof. PhD Dissertation, Computer Science Dept., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. Published by University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
      Also available as IBM Research Report RC 20683 (Jan. 07 1997) (though the cover page of the Report says 1996 due to a typo).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in compressed postscript or in pdf or in dvi format.

      Mini-Abstract: Generalized the ability of potentially-conflicting rules to override each other. Designed new techniques to decompose a large-scale non-monotonic reasoning task into a collection of smaller (local) reasoning tasks, so as to achieve overall computational practicality. Many results and concepts about prioritized defaults and the circumscription formalism.

    • [92d] "Representing and Reasoning With Defaults For Learning Agents" (July 04 1992). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the ML-92 Workshop on Biases in Inductive Learning, at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ML-92), edited by Diana Gordon. Proceedings available from the editor (gordon@aic.nrl.navy.mil, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, USA). Held at University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, July 4, 1992.
      Also appeared as companion paper to [93b].
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format .

    • [92c] "Applications of Logicist Knowledge Representation to Enterprise Modelling" (July 13 1992). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Leora Morgenstern. In: Proceedings of the AAAI-92 Workshop on Enterprise Integration, edited by Charles J. Petrie, Mark Fox, and Martin Tenenbaum. Held at the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-92), San Jose, CA, USA, July 13, 1992.
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in pdf format . or in dvi format .
      Comment: [92b] has essentially the same content, but [92b] is slightly revised to correct a few typos and improve formatting.

    • [92b] "Applications of Logicist Knowledge Representation to Enterprise Modelling" (June 08 1992). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Leora Morgenstern. In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Enterprise Modelling Technology (ICEIMT) edited by Charles J. Petrie. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA. (Book title is "Enterprise Integration Modelling: Proceedings of the First International Conference".) Held Hilton Head, SC, USA, June 8-12, 1992.
      Comment: See instead [92c] for similar content.

    • [92a] "Reformulating Non-Monotonic Theories for Inference and Updating" (Apr. 28 1992). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the 1992 Workshop on Change of Representation and Problem Reformulation, edited by Michael Lowry. NASA Ames Research Center Technical Report FIA-92-06, Moffett Field, CA, USA. Held Asilomar, CA, USA, April 28 - May 1, 1992.
      Also available as IBM Research Report RC 17955 (Apr. 1992).
      You can get abstract; or full paper in postscript or in dvi format.
      Comment: The content of [92a] is from PhD dissertation work. Similar content is to be found in [92e]'s section 6.3.

    • [91a] "Generalizing Prioritization" (Apr. 28 1991). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR-91), edited by James Allen, Richard Fikes, and Erik Sandewall. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, CA, USA. Held Cambridge, MA, USA, Apr., 1991.
      You can get abstract.
      Comment: The content of [91a] is from PhD dissertation work. Similar content is to be found as part of [92e]'s chapter 2.

    • [90d] "Declarative Bias: An Overview" (1990). By Stuart J. Russell and Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Conference on Reformulation and Inductive Bias, edited by Paul Benjamin. Edited volume based on the Proceedings of the Philips Workshop held in Briarcliff, NY, USA, June 8-10, 1988. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, USA.
      You can get abstract.
      Comment: For more about declarative bias work and its context, see also "The Use of Knowledge in Analogy and Induction", by Stuart J. Russell, Pitman publishers, London, UK, 1989; this is a book based on his PhD dissertation work as well.

    • [90c] "Shift of Bias As Non-Monotonic Reasoning" (1990). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Stuart J. Russell. In: Machine Learning, Meta-Reasoning, and Logics, edited by Pavel Brazdil and Kurt Konolige. Edited volume based on the Proceedings of the Workshop held in Sesimbra, Portugal, Feb., 1988. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, USA, 1990.
      You can get abstract.
      Comment: This is a revised and expanded version of the second half of [87a].

    • [90b] "A Sketch of Autonomous Learning using Declarative Bias" (1990). By Stuart J. Russell and Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Machine Learning, Meta-Reasoning, and Logics, edited by Pavel Brazdil and Kurt Konolige. Edited volume based on the Proceedings of the Workshop held in Sesimbra, Portugal, Feb., 1988. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, USA, 1990.
      You can get abstract.
      Comment: This is a revised and expanded version of the first half of [87a].

    • [90a] "Defeasible Reasoning and Uncertainty: Comments" (1990). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence 5, edited by Max Henrion, Ross D. Shachter, Laveen N. Kanal and John F. Lemmer. North-Holland (Elsevier Science) publishers, Amsterdam and New York, 1990. Edited volume based on the Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence held in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 18-20, 1989.
      You can get abstract.

    • [89a] "Declarative Bias for Structural Domains" (June 29 1989). By Benjamin N. Grosof and Stuart J. Russell. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Machine Learning, edited by Alberto M. Segre. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, CA, USA. Held Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, June 29 - July 1, 1989.
      You can get abstract.

    • [88a] "Non-Monotonicity in Probabilistic Reasoning" (1988). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence 2, edited by John Lemmer and Laveen Kanal. Edited volume based on the Second International Workshop on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, held Philadelphia, PA, USA, Aug. 1986. North Holland (Elsevier Science) publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1988.
      You can get abstract.

    • [87a] "A Declarative Approach to Bias in Concept Learning" (July 1987). By Stuart J. Russell and Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-87). Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, CA, USA. Held Seattle, WA, USA, July, 1987.
      You can get abstract.
      Comment: The first and second halves are complementary but distinct papers.
      See instead [90b] and [90c] which are revised versions of the first half, and second half, respectively.

    • [86b] "An Inequality Paradigm for Probabilistic Knowledge" (1986). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (1), edited by John F. Lemmer and Laveen Kanal. Edited volume based on the First International Workshop on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, held at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Aug. 1985. North Holland (Elsevier Science) publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1986.
      You can get abstract.

    • [86a] "Evidential Confirmation As Transformed Probability" (1986). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (1), edited by John F. Lemmer and Laveen Kanal. Edited volume based on the First International Workshop on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, held at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Aug. 1985. North Holland (Elsevier Science) publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1986.
      You can get abstract.

    • [85a] "An Assumption-based Truth Maintenance System for MRS" (1985). By Benjamin N. Grosof. Working Paper, Stanford University Computer Science Dept., Stanford, CA, USA.
      Mini-abstract: Implemented an enhacement to MRS, a large, flexible LISP reasoning environment, whose descendants include commercial and academic toolkits. This was the first implementation of de Kleer's ATMS concept, after de Kleer's own. Includes analysis of efficiency, alternatives to de Kleer's algorithms and data structures that are sometimes superior, e.g., in scaling up well.

    • [84a] "Default Reasoning As Circumscription" (Oct. 1984). By Benjamin N. Grosof. In: Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Non-Monotonic Reasoning. Sponsored by AAAI. Held New Paltz, NY, USA, Oct. 1984.
      You can get abstract.
      Comments: The essential technical content is supersumed by PhD dissertation [92e].
      See instead [92e], esp. section 8.5 and chapter 3 there.

     

     

    MIT-days stuff FOLLOWS (last updated in 2006-2007)

     

    MIT-days stuff: (NB: last updated in 2006-2007!)

       MIT Research Projects Overview
       MIT RulesKR Project:  Rules Representation for Semantic Web Services   
       MIT BizSWS Project:  Business Implications of Semantic Web Services   
       Semantic Web Services Primer, SWSI   
       XML Rules Standards,  RuleMLSWRL
           *W3C Rule Interchange Format (RIF) Working Group*
       Groups at MIT Sloan   
       MIT Teaching   
       MIT Professional Service Activities   
       MIT Recent Activities   

     

    MIT Research Projects Overview:

    1. RulesKR: Rules Knowledge Representation Technologies, esp. for Semantic Web Services
      • RuleML Logic Programs + Ontologies + Databases

    2. BizSWS: Business Implications of Semantic Web Services, including Applications and Strategy
      • E-Contracting, Business Policies: ... in B2B, Supply Chain, Finance
      • More generally: Knowledge Integration and Business Process Automation; Business Rules, Intelligent Agents, Business Intelligence, Knowledge-based E-Markets

     

    RulesKR Project on Rules Knowledge Representation Technologies, especially for Semantic Web Services

    This project is to create and study fundamental technologies for rules knowledge representation, for infrastructural use in Semantic Web Services. It includes fundamental reasoning theory (including extensions to logic programs), technology design (e.g., architecture, algorithms) and prototypes, and standards proposals (including RuleML). The project has created a highly capable integrated toolkit called SweetRules, available in open source. ("Sweet" stands for "Semantic WEb Enabling Technologies".) In addition, there is a close dialectic with exploring applications scenarios (drawn from our project on business implications), and strategies.

    This project is concerned largely with communication of rule-form beliefs (information), assimilation of such beliefs from multiple sources, reasoning about the scope and degree of trust of those sources, handling of conflicts between those sources, and inter-operable executability of inferencing with those beliefs via knowledge-based and database systems. The sources might be agents, applications, or databases, for example. The focus is especially on information about business rules or policies, including in e-contracts. The technical approach is based on declarative logic programs.

    Topics include:

    • rules inter-operability and translation among heterogeneous rule systems, especially currently commercially important (CCI) families of rule systems including:
      • relational database systems (SQL)
      • event-condition-action (ECA) rule systems
      • production rule systems (whose ancestors include OPS5, CLIPS, Jess)
      • Prolog
    • rules standardization, especially about RuleML and its relationship to other emerging Web standards including OWL from W3C WebOnt (Semantic Web-Ontologies) Working Group. I co-lead the RuleML standards effort.
    • rules expressiveness: (which involves plenty of theory, e.g., about non-monotonic reasoning or computational complexity)
      • prioritized conflict handling, merging, updating ("courteous logic programs")
      • procedural attachments, linkages to general business processes and procedural code ("situated courteous logic programs")
      • use of description logic ontologies cf. W3C's OWL ("description logic programs")
      • use-of / integration-with other general-purpose W3C Web standards, e.g., RDF, URI, and perhaps XInclude.
    • rules inferencing, including triggered actions, both forward-direction (data-driven or event-driven) and backward-direction (query-answering).
    • merging, assimilation, and updating: of rules knowledge from multiple sources. I.e., automated learning by "talking" as well as from data mining.
    • rule-based semantic web services, including architectural and application roles of rules in semantic web services
    • overall, knowledge integration. (NB: sometimes a.k.a. "intelligent information integration".)

    To achieve practical e-commerce applications, often one must also strive in the rules KR design to enable:

    • software engineering "-ilities", e.g., embeddability, modularity, scaleability, integration architectures
    • knowledge representation and inferencing about probabilities

    SWEET:
    SWEET ("Semantic WEb Enabling Technology") is an overall set of tools I (with collaborators) am developing. It includes SweetRules (supporting Situated Courteous Logic Programs in RuleML) and SweetDeal (supporting e-contracting; see below). Prototypes of SweetRules and SweetDeal have been running since late 2001. For more about Sweet, see the description of the software.

    DAML:
    This project is receiving significant funding support from the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) Program, whose overall purpose is to develop techniques for high-level communication between agents in XML. I am Principal Investigator (PI) at MIT for this DAML grant award. SWSI grew in part out of the DAML program.

    I co-lead (with Mike Dean) the DAML Rules effort and the Joint Committee Rules effort, which are closely related to RuleML.

    Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, and head of the World Wide Web Consortium, is PI at MIT of another DAML grant project about the Semantic Web. I work with Tim and the MIT LCS / W3C team he leads, as well as with several other researchers outside of MIT, on DAML and the Semantic Web.

    You can see my recent papers and talks for more about the RulesKR project. See also SWSI especially its SWSL language effort which includes rules.

     

    BizSWS Project on Business Implications of Semantic Web Services, including Applications and Strategy

    (NB: "BizSWS" is pronounced "BizSwizz")

    This project is to create and study the business implications of Semantic Web Services (SWS). It includes applications design and scenarios, analysis of business value, strategy, and theory. The applications largely focus on using rules for e-contracting, web services, and financial knowledge integration.

    SWS offers the promise of dramatically increasing the degree of automation (and lowering costs) in machine-to-machine/application-to-application communications and business processes, as compared to the first generation of the Web which is primarily oriented towards human-to-machine/human-to-application interactions.

    The fundamental rules technologies in our RulesKR project above are motivated by SWS e-commerce applications and strategies, e.g., for e-contracting and finance, and are developed in tandem with them. Developing the fundamental technologies in tandem with the applications provides bi-directional feedback. This helps focus both sides. The e-contracting prototype is called SweetDeal (more about that below).

    Topics include:

    • e-contracting (e.g., in our SweetDeal approach):
      • representing deal descriptions (offerings, bids), and particularly their contingent provisions (e.g., handling late deliveries, refunds, or payment problems)
      • descriptions of goods (products or services) and their pricing
      • negotiating proposed deals, to create contracts
        • generating proposals; inferencing about proposals to evaluate them; modifying proposals; auctions
      • matchmaking of business partners, in the discovery phase of contracting; sourcing; targeted advertising
      • executing, and monitoring, the performance of contracts
      • exploiting business process descriptions
    • particularly, deals about Web Services and e-services
      • focus on the "deal layer" of web services (or e-services), i.e., what the service does, at what price, why one would want to purchase it, what guarantees are offered, and what are the terms & conditions of the deal -- as opposed to the lower "mechanics layers" for how to invoke or register a web services (e.g., WSDL) which have been to date the main focus of industry standardization efforts
    • integration of financial information/knowledge from multiple sources (e.g., in our ECOIN approach)
    • risk management in e-contracting and finance
    • business policies, more generally, e.g., in:
      • pricing
      • customer relationship management (CRM) including customer service, promotions, targeting
      • trust/authorization, e.g., for security
      • privacy, e.g., in the W3C P3P standards effort
    • e-markets composed of knowledge-based applications ("agents")
    • virtual organizations via highly automated outsourcing of services
    • applications and strategy, more generally
      • early adopter industries and players
      • business value
      • sequencing of adoption and development; accelerants and catalysts
      • standards; role of open source and freeware

    Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI) (pronounced "swizzie") coordinates and performs SWS research and early standards activities.

    The Center for eBusiness @ MIT:
    This project has in past received significant funding support from the Center for eBusiness @ MIT, a very large research center with dozens of company sponsors.

    SweetDeal:
    The e-contracting applications design, prototype, and scenarios, including for deals about e-services/web-services, are together called "SweetDeal". ("Sweet" stands for "Semantic WEb Enabling Technology".)

    Extended COntext INterchange (ECOIN) is an approach to information integration involving mapping between different contexts of information usage or information supply. Those different contexts utilize different ontologies. Knowledge-based techniques for mapping between these heterogeneous ontological contexts then can create considerable value in financial applications.

    You can see my recent papers and talks for more about the Biz+SWS project; there are (currently) three papers about e-contracting / SweetDeal, and two about financial knowledge integration / ECOIN. See also SWSI, especially its application scenario and industrial partnership aspects.

    History:
    This Biz+SWS project grows in part out of my previous work at IBM Research during 1994-2000, which was on:

      • Business rules for e-commerce. This resulted in IBM CommonRules which pioneered rules inter-operability and conflict handling, using the technical approach based largely on declarative logic programs in Java and XML which has been continued in SWEET and RuleML. An earlier version of this technology was IBM Agent Building Environment which was piloted in applications for personalized information workflow.

      • Intelligent agents and e-commerce/supply-chain applications that use business rules. This included being a Principal Investigator for a $29 Million industry-government consortium project called EECOMS (half-funded by NIST) during 1998-2000 on supply chain collaboration in agile manufacturing which used CommonRules and courteous logic programs in XML for application scenarios in e-contracting (procurement, supply chain, negotiation, exception management). Other applications included in catalogs & storefronts, security/authorization/trust, and personalization.

      You can see my (old) IBM project page there. The IBM CommonRules project continues under the leadership of Hoi Chan.

     

    Intro and Primer: Semantic Web, Web Services, E-Commerce, Semantic Web Services

    My research overall is concerned with the design and management of how automated enterprises and intelligent agents will soon communicate at a high level of shared understanding ("semantics") with each other over the Web in e-commerce (esp. B2B). Two important technical aspects of this are (1.) XML and (2.) techniques for knowledge representation and inferencing, especially for rules and ontologies.

    An "ontology" is a formally specified set of vocabulary definitions. A "rule" is an if-then implication. Rules mention relations and other logical constants, and thus can rely on ontological definitions of those. "Knowledge representation" (KR) means what form of knowledge can be expressed, including both syntactic encoding and underlying semantics of meaning. This semantics is defined in terms of what conclusions are sanctioned from a given set of premises (e.g., rules or ontological definitions) in a particular chosen KR. The semantic aspect of KR is important to enable an agent/application to anticipate what another agent/application will believe/draw from a given set of communicated statements (i.e., exchanged information/knowledge).

    My work is thus closely related to several aspects of the Semantic Web, an overall concept for the next generation of the Web, in which the Web becomes a repository of information that is automatically readable by programs in a way that has substantial semantics (i.e., becomes "agent-enabled"), rather than only human-readable/understandable as in the first generation of the Web. For more about the Semantic Web, you can see the W3C Semantic Web Activity and a Semantic Web community portal.

    Within the Semantic Web overall, I am especially focusing on

    • rules knowledge representation: fundamental reasoning theory (including extensions to logic programs), technology (including SweetRules), and standards (including RuleML which I co-chair); and
    • business applications and strategy, e.g., e-contracting (including SweetDeal), intelligent knowledge integration (including ECOIN for finance), business policies (including authorization), and (more generally) business intelligence.

    Another emerging concept is Web Services -- the delivery of electronic services using Web protocols. These services might be provided by invoking almost any kind of program, so this is an extremely broad concept. Part of my work is concerned with infrastructural services for the Semantic Web, e.g., for relatively broad-purpose knowledge translation and inferencing. Another part of my work is concerned with application-specific services that make use of the Semantic Web, e.g., services for e-contracting or financial knowledge integration. For more about Web Services, you can see the W3C Web Services activity and the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization.

    "Semantic Web Services" (SWS) is the convergence of Web Services and Semantic Web. SWS is the next major generation of the Web, in which e-services and business communication become more knowledge-based and agent-based. SWS includes both the infrastructural and the application-specific services I described above. It can be parsed as "{Semantic Web} Services" or as "Semantic {Web Services}". Until 2004, Semantic Web and Web Services were largely decoupled in industry standards and development efforts. However, since mid-2002, a research community with aspiration towards standards has formed around SWS, especially in the US and Europe. For overviews of Semantic Web Services, see my recent tutorials and the talks that mention it in their title. You can see a quickie 2003 list of Web resources about SWS, the Resources pages at SWSI, and the 2003 Panel on SWS at the WWW-20003 Conference.

    Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI) (pronounced "swizzie") coordinates and performs SWS research and early standards activities.

     

    XML Rules -- Standards; RuleML:

    I am Co-Founder and Co-Chair of RuleML, an early-phase standards effort on a markup language for rules in XML, and more generally for Rules as part of the Semantic Web. The goal of this RuleML Initiative is eventual adoption as a Web standard, e.g., via the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

    Research aspect: Along the way there are a number of interesting new research issues. Quite a bit of new theory and design work is required to support highly-expressive inferencing and interoperability in RuleML. Most of my recent publications and talks (since early 2001) are in part about extending or applying RuleML. Much of my recent research (with collaborators) is embodied in the:

    • New & Cool SweetRules V2. Created by a multi-institutional effort led by me, SweetRules is a powerful open source software integrated toolkit for semantic web rules, released Dec. 2004, which revolves largely around RuleML and provides a set of interoperable reference implementations for RuleML.
    Also, RuleML largely grows out of Business Rules Markup Language (BRML) which I developed in my previous work at IBM Research and which is implemented in IBM CommonRules.

    Scientific Conference annually on RuleML-related research topics: RuleML-2005, the first annual International Conference on Rules and Rule Markup Languages for the Semantic Web, was held in conjunction with the fourth International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), in Nov. 2005. This is successor to three previous annual Workshops on the same topic, held in conjunction with the first three ISWC's. I co-founded the workshop series and conference, and was general co-chair for RuleML-2005. The RuleML-2006 conference will be held in Nov. 2006, in conjunction with ISWC-2006 in Athens, Georgia, USA.

    The RuleML Initiative: The RuleML Initiative began in fall 2000, and released a first public version of XML DTD's for several rule flavors in January 2001. My co-founder/co-chairs are Harold Boley and Said Tabet. There are now several dozen participating institutions in the RuleML Initiative (a mix of industry and academe), and over a dozen prototype RuleML tools already available (supporting rule translation, inferencing, or authoring). Weekly group telecons and emails discuss technical as well as organizational issues.

    Website(s): The main RuleML website is in process of being radically redesigned. Also, at any given time, partly due to lags in updating, there is also very salient stuff HERE about RuleML NOT on that site. E.g., see my recent papers and talks.

    Rapid Growth in Influence: RuleML has grown rapidly in influence since its inception. Notable events since spring 2002 include that:

    • The DAML program has been (as of approx. Aug. 2002) using RuleML as its main starting point/focus for the DAML Rules effort (which I co-chair with Mike Dean), motivated also by having identified a requirement to use/support rules in the DAML-Services effort and its successor SWSI.

    • In particular, Rules have been (as of approx. Aug. 2002) the main focus of the Joint US/EU ad hoc Agent Markup Language Committee (usually called simply the "Joint Committee") which produced DAML+OIL, upon which the W3C OWL web ontology language is closely based. RuleML is the main starting point/focus for the Joint Committee's Rules effort, which I co-lead along with Mike Dean. The Joint Committee's email archive is a good place to find recent technical discussions on RuleML. (A RuleML email archive for organizational discussions is in process of being set up, as well.)

    • Tim Berners-Lee has disseminated (as of approx. Apr. 2002) an updated Semantic Web stack diagram (in png; or get pdf version). That proposes to include Rules as "on deck" (i.e., next) after Ontologies as an area for standardization within the Semantic Web. The W3C Semantic Web Activity's charter includes rules as an important area to standardize soon.

    • The Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI), the leading organization for developing early-phase standards proposals in semantic web services, has adopted RuleML as its rule markup language, and is collaborating on design of extensions and refinements to RuleML.

    • The Object Management Group, an important umbrella standards body for interoperability, is using RuleML as the approach to markup in its production rules standardization working committee.

    • RuleML (FOL and SWRL-rules sublanguages) is an acknowledged Member Submission to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

    • The W3C is planning a Workshop in late spring 2005 on requirements and approaches to standardizing web-interoperable rules, drawing largely on the groundwork laid by RuleML. This is typically the penultimate major step before forming a W3C Working Group full-blown standards effort.

    • A Google search on "RuleML" yields 20,000+ hits (as of Feb. 2005).

     

    Group Contexts while at MIT:

    • MIT Sloan IT Group and associated Research Centers:
      My closer colleagues in the Sloan Information Technology (IT) group included faculty Erik Brynjolfsson, Stuart Madnick, Tom Malone, Wanda Orlikowski, Jack Rockart (mostly retired), and Peter Weill, and principal research scientists Mark Klein and Michael Siegel.

      I was a member of two research centers and a large research project with which several of these colleagues were also affiliated:

      • Center for eBusiness@MIT (CeB), directed by Erik Brynjolfsson. CeB is a very large and vigorous center with dozens of company sponsors. It was centered at Sloan, involved many faculty outside of IT, and included non-Sloan MIT faculty as well. Work in CeB included several aspects of my research on e-contracting and semantic web services, which CeB supported through its Vision Fund.
      • Center for Coordination Science (CCS), led by Tom Malone. CCS is the home of the Process Handbook (PH) project on business process design and knowledge management, which has been integral in several aspects of my research.
      • Context Interchange (COIN) Project, led by Stuart Madnick. I contributed to the COIN project on use of information integration including financial reporting and services, using rule and ontology techniques.
      • Another research center, closely associated with the IT group, in which I participated informally, was: the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR).

    • DAML; Tim Berners-Lee, W3C, MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL):
      I collaborated extensively with other researchers in the DAML Program during 2000-2005, including the MIT CSAIL / W3C team led by Tim Berners-Lee, especially on semantic web rule technologies and standards, and their uses in policies and services. My collaboration with Tim and his group continued thereafter as well.

     

    Teaching:

    Overall, I teach Information Technology (IT), primarily for e-business, and mostly from the technologies angle. In the last few years, I have developed new classes and new units within classes, that treat more broadly and deeply my research areas of Semantic Web Services and Electronic Commerce. My students are a mix -- both grad and undergrad, in both Management and non-Management programs. In addition to my regular classroom teaching, I teach short courses close to my research area for regular MIT students (3-day, 1-day), executive education (e.g., half-day), and conference tutorials for researchers (typically, half-day).

    SPRING 2007:

    * 15.564 "IT Essentials II: Advanced Technologies for Digital Business in the Knowledge Economy" (spring 2007, MW 1-2:30, in E51)

    Recently redeveloped, this is the most advanced technology-oriented IT course offered at MIT Sloan.

    • Wrt prerequisite:
      15.564 is suitable for students with significant previous IT background, e.g., from industry experience or computer science studies, as well as for those who have taken 15.561 ("Information Technology Essentials") which is offered in the first half of spring semester.

    * 15.568 "Practical Information Technology Management" (spring 2007, MW 2:30-4, in E51)

    Recently redeveloped, this is an undergraduate IT course on the organizational and people aspects of IT, including IT project management, IT outsourcing, business process design, getting the most out of IT investments, and IT strategy.

    PAST TEACHING:

    In 2005-2006, I taught:

    • 15.564 "IT Essentials II: Advanced Technologies for Digital Business in the Knowledge Economy" in spring 2006
    • 15.568 "Practical Information Technology Management" in spring 2006

    In 2004-2005, I taught:

    • 15.564 "IT Essentials II: Advanced Technologies for Digital Business in the Knowledge Economy" in spring 2005

    In 2003-2004, I taught:

    • 15.564 "IT Essentials II: Advanced Technologies for Digital Business in the Knowledge Economy" in spring 2004
    • 15.972 "Frontiers of E-Business: Introduction to Semantic Web and Web Services" in IAP 2003 (Independent Activities Period, in January).

    In 2002-2003, I taught:

    • 15.564 "Information Technology I: How IT All Works Under the Hood" in fall 2002
    • 15.574 "Research Seminar in Information Systems: Technology Perspectives" also in fall 2002
    • 15.972 "Frontiers of E-Business: Introduction to Semantic Web and Web Services" in IAP 2003 (Independent Activities Period, in January).

    In 2001-2002, and also in 2000-2001, I taught:

    • 15.564, in the fall
    • 15.561 "Information Systems: From Technology Infrastructure to the Networked Corporation" (an MBA semi-core course), in the spring (co-taught with two other faculty)

    In IAP 2001 (Independent Activities Period, during January), I also taught

    • 15.961 "Independent Research: Tech Trek West to Silicon Valley".

    15.561 and 15.564 are both fairly broad Information Technology courses, with a substantial focus (about 40%) on technology and management specifically for e-commerce. 15.561 is a 6-unit semi-core MBA course taken mostly by 1st-year MBA students. 15.564 was in previous years a 12-unit course taken by a variety of grad and undergrad students, mostly Management majors.

    15.574 in fall 2002 was a 9-unit doctoral seminar focusing largely on the Semantic Web, its knowledge representation foundations, and its business applications. (Note that due to an error in the MIT catalog editing process, the title of 15.574 listed was for a while "Theoretical Foundations of Information Systems".)
    15.972 in IAP 2003 and IAP 2004 was a 3-unit special seminar, that was a short version of 15.574.

    You can see the MIT course catalog and SloanSpace for information on courses being offered at any given time. You can see cached copies of the descriptions of 15.574 and 15.972 -- they are not being offered in 2004-2005.

    I also teach Executive Education short-courses, including on "Next Generation Electronic Markets".

    In 2003 I taught a 1-day course to the MIT Sloan Alumni of Boston, titled "Frontiers of E-Business: Introduction to Semantic Web and Web Services", that was a shorter version of my IAP course 15.972 (6/21/2003).

     

    Recent Professional Service Activities: (selected)

     

    Upcoming and Recent Activities: (selected)

    • W3C Working Group on Rule Interchange Format, Kickoff Meeting to be held Burlingame, CA, Dec. 8-9, 2005.
      Comment: This full-blown W3C standards effort is based largely on my work, both research (on semantic web rules and services applications) and early standards design (including RuleML and SWSF). I am a participant and will be presenting on background of the WG at the kickoff meeting. The Working Group builds on the earlier W3C Rules Workshop. Techniques for interoperating between production rules and logic programs, including my approach (based on Production Logic Programs, a generalization of Situated Courteous Logic Programs) used in RuleML, SweetRules, SweetDeal, and partially in SWSF, will probably loom large in the Working Group effort.

    • W3C Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability, to be held Washington, DC, Apr. 27-28, 2005.
      Comment: I helped author the Call For Participation, and am on the Program Committee. I presented on SWSF and also co-authored another presentation on RuleML. See the Workshop site for those presentations.
      RuleML, which I co-lead, loomed large in the Workshop.

    • W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services, to be held Innsbruck, Austria, Jun. 9-10, 2005.
      Comment: SWSF, which I co-edit, loomed large in the Workshop.

    • RuleML-2005, the 2005 International Conference on Rules and Rule Markup Languages for the Semantic Web, in cooperation and conjunction with the 4th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC-2005), to be held Nov. 10-12, 2005, Galway, Ireland.
      Comment: For the first year this was a full-blown Conference, after having been a Workshop every year since 2002, colocated with ISWC ever since ISWC started. I was Conference General Co-Chair in 2005, after also having co-organized the establishment of the earlier Workshop as a regular annual event since 2002.