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From office automation to intelligent workflow systems

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3 Author(s)
Mahling, D.E. ; Dept. of Inf. Sci., Pittsburgh Univ., PA, USA ; Craven, N. ; Croft, W.B.

The paper traces the development of a family of task support systems. Starting with the Poise system in the early 1980s, we visited issues such as office automation and the paperless office. We showed that office information systems such as Poise suffered from procedural rigidity, resulting in limited applicability. Knowledge-based techniques then emerged to meet these limitations. The successor to Poise was Polymer, a task support system built upon a plan-based expert system. D-Polymer, the distributed version, followed, expanding the scope of Polymer to multiple users (workgroups). D-Polymer used techniques from distributed artificial intelligence for multiagent coordination. A parallel trend in workgroup support in the late 1980s and early 1990s was the tool perspective that heavily influenced CSCW systems. The tool perspective viewed systems such as D-Polymer as overly complex, favoring highly user-centered tools. Acknowledging the contributions of the tool perspective, we developed D-Polymer to address workflow issues. The most recent member in the Poise/Polymer line of research is Polyflow. This workflow system uses the power of goal-based knowledge representation to assist in planning, monitoring, and repairing workflows with emphasis on the users and their workgroups

Published in:

IEEE Expert  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1995

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