Decision Automation and Explanations

Prof. Gene Freuder wrote a position paper “Complete Explanations” for The Second Workshop on Progress Towards the Holy Grail that will be held on Aug 27, 2018 during CP 2018 in Lille, France. Gene writes: “As AI becomes more ubiquitous there is a renewed interest in computers being able to provide explanations, and the European GPDR provides special impetus.” Geen’s paper concentrates on constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs), but, as I’d shown in my 2016 paper, we may consider a decision model as a CSP, and everything Gene is talking about directly applies to business decision modeling. Continue reading

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Goal-Oriented Decision Modeling with OpenRules-7

The major Release 7.0.0 is making OpenRules even more user-friendly without losing any of the sophistication of already proven decision modeling technology. Our customers don’t have anymore to define an execution sequence of their decision tables in special tables of the type “Decision” – these tables can be automatically generated. Now it is sufficient for a human decision modeler to define only Glossary and Decision Tables that specify business logic for all included goals and subgoals. Then for any selected business goal, OpenRules Engine will execute all related decision tables in an automatically calculated order to determine the goal’s value. You may watch this short video that uses simple examples to explain the goal-oriented approach to decision modeling supported by OpenRules-7. Continue reading

OpenRules will Present and Exhibit at BBC-2018 in November

This year OpenRules, Inc. again will be a sponsor, exhibitor, and a presenter at BBC-2018  that will be held on Nov. 6-9, 2018, JW MARRIOTT SAN ANTONIO HILL COUNTRY RESORT & SPA, SAN ANTONIO, TX. The presentation Replacing Legacy Bank Account Management System Using Business Rules will be presented on Nov. 8 together with our customer, one of the largest CA banks. Continue reading

By jacobfeldman Posted in Events

Keep DMN Simple

People who started decision modeling standardization years ago were all agreed that the DMN standard is supposed to be oriented to subject matter experts, should be simple, friendly enough while powerful to cover the common denominator in operational decision modeling. It was a good start for DMN in 2013 and an enthusiastic acceptance since then. However, today DMN is full of complex, programmer-oriented features which seem to get even more complex in new releases. There are plenty examples of unnecessary complexity being proudly promoted for their “elegance”.  Here are a few examples to compare. Continue reading

Old Decision Model “Credit Card Application” Implemented with New OpenRules-7

The latest June-2018 DMCommunity Challenge”Credit Card Application” gives me a good chance to demonstrate the new upcoming OpenRules Release 7.0.0. I remember that Nick Broom was one of the first who published a real-world decision model right after the DMN introduction. I also remember that at the same day I implemented and published  Nick’s model using only Excel and OpenRules  available at that time (it was release 6.2.6). It would be interesting to compare this old implementation with a new one below that takes advantages of new OpenRules-7. Continue reading

DMCommunity Challenge April-2018 “Up-Selling Rules”

In this post we will provide a response to the DMCommunity.org Apr-2018 Challenge “Up-Selling Rules  that deals with two decision tables: 1) up-selling rules that offer new products to a customer based on the customer profile and the products which the customer already has; 2) customer profiling rules. We will use for the first time the latest OpenRules version (not released yet to public) that removes a need for ordering of multiple decision tables.  Continue reading

Decision Management and Semantic Reasoning

Considering the upcoming conferences, I was asked by Harold Boley to write about a possible integration of Semantic Reasoning and Business Decision Management. Today I posted an article at the RuleML Blog and decided to reproduce it here as well but in a bit more friendly format.
On September-2018 DecisionCAMP and RuleML+RR will be co-located again for the third time during the LuxLogAI-2018 summit in Luxembourg. These two events represent different but closely related fields of the knowledge representation movement: Business Rules & Decisions Management and Semantic Reasoning. In this post I want to talk about relationships between these two fields and events.

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Happy 15th Birthday, OpenRules!

Today is exactly 15 years since OpenRules, Inc. was incorporated on Feb. 24, 2003. It’s a quite serious milestone, so I decided to write a few words for this occasion. A year ago, I described a brief history of our company and key factors that made it successful. 2018 was an extremely successful year for OpenRules as well: we improved the product and many major corporations became our new customers. But in this post I want to look to the future and to share some of our upcoming and long term plans. Continue reading

Introducing DMN to Business Analysts in 15 Minutes

Last year BBC-2017 organizers gave me 20 minutes to introduce DMN to business analysts at the “Technology Theater”, an open space in the Expo hall. Based on the positive feedback from people who attended my presentation, I decided to share it with more people.  You may look at my slides in the PDF format. Below I will describe an example I believe  is very useful to introduce major DMN concepts in 15 minutes. Continue reading

OpenRules Solution for the Christmas Challenge

DMCommunity.org offered a new Dec-2017 Challenge called “Reindeer Ordering“. It has a nice Christmas formulation:
Santa always leaves plans for his elves to determine the order in which the reindeer will pull his sleigh. This year, for the European leg of his journey, his elves are working to the following schedule, which will form a single line of nine reindeer. Here are the rules: Continue reading

OpenRules Release 6.4.3

OpenRules® Release 6.4.3 generates new, more compact execution reports with explanations, adds decision importing to integrate loosely coupled decision models, allows using lists along with arrays and extends various operators on them, enhances date/time manipulations and adds more features requested by customers.  Here is the list of of newly added capabilities: Continue reading

Decision Modeling: LEGO Style

Recently I helped one of our larger customers to build a set of their business decision models. At the end I said that now they can continue to assemble new decision models themselves. Then one of their business analysts said that our decision modeling approach reminds him of LEGO. I believe this is a really good analogy and I will elaborate on it using specific examples.

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Transforming DMN XML to OpenRules

DMN-OpenRulesOpenRules already can read and execute decision models represented in the DML XML format. To test new DMN-to-OpenRules capabilities I decided to implement DMCommunity’s June-2017 Challenge using the DMN Modeling tool from Trisotech that allows non-technical people to create DMN-compliant decision models and import them to the DMN XML format. My objective was to create DMN XML for the Loan Origination problem described in the Section 11 of the DMN specification and then execute this DMN XML using OpenRules. Continue reading

Loosely Coupled Decision Models for Loan Origination

DMCommunity.org June-2017 Challenge is looking for the best decision models that implement a well-known Loan Origination problem described in in the Section 11 of the DMN specification. So, I decided to address this challenge using the core DMN constructs implemented in OpenRules. I will describe my solution in the form of dialog between a fictional READER who is assumed to be a business analyst (not a programmer) and the AUTHOR, who represents myself. It is similar to the dialog-sessions described in my recent book “DMN in Action with OpenRules“. While it may look long it doesn’t omit any implementation detail. Besides serving as a good solution for the Challenge, this document describes a good decision modeling practice for OpenRules customers.
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Presenting at DecisionCAMP and BBC 2017

Soon we will participate in the major annual decision management events:

This year I am the chair of DecisionCAMP and will give a tutorial “Decision Modeling with DMN and OpenRules” at the co-located RuleML+RR on July 12 at 14:00-15:45.

At the BBC-2017 I will present “How Business Analysts Can Build Decision Models with DMN but Without Programming” on Nov 10 at 9:00-10:00. As usual, OpenRules will be a sponsor and an exhibitor – stop at our booth #T8 to see the latest version of OpenRules with “DMN in Action”.

By jacobfeldman Posted in Events

Solving Flight Rebooking Challenge With and Without Programming Constructs

DMCommunity.orgFlightRebookingImage announced its Challenge “Rebooking Passengers from Cancelled Flights” in Oct-2016 and until now 4 different solutions have been submitted. It is a relatively complex use case for decision modeling. In this post I will describe different implementation approaches for this challenge and will discuss good and not so good DMN constructs used to support the underlying decisioning logic. I hope this post will initiate more discussions which may lead to the future DMN improvements by replacing the existing programming constructs to more business-friendly representations. Continue reading

DMN: Iterating Over Arrays Without Explicit Loops

Iteration1I consider myself among the initiators and big supporters of the DMN standard, and I do my best to help bringing the standard to the real-world business decision modeling. Naturally, the current release of DMN includes some constructs with which I strongly disagree but I am trying not to criticize DMN too much as the standard itself is not mature enough yet and I hope it will be gradually improved based on the real-world acceptance. Continue reading

Raymond Smullyan’s Retro-Analysis and Decision Modeling

When I learned that the famous Prof. Raymond Smullyan passed away this February at the age of 97, I felt grateful to the man whose books and puzzles my friends and I enjoyed reading as young programmers many years ago. Later on we shared them with our children. I wanted somehow to mark this event and decided to buy his book “The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes” to read on vacation. Ten days ago I started to read the book during my flight from Newark to Jamaica and… haven’t even noticed as we landed. Continue reading

Happy 14th Birthday, OpenRules!

This week during a conference call with a large potential customer I had shown them our release history. Suddenly I realized that OpenRules just passed its 14th birthday. I remember as we started in 2003 with just a few people and a strong desire to build the best Business Rules Product. And now, 14 years later,  I am glad to share multiple OpenRules success stories at the world largest international corporations and government agencies. In this post I will briefly look back to better understand the factors that contributed to the commercial success we enjoy as a company today. Continue reading

A new book “DMN in Action with OpenRules”

bookcoverprintThis month I published a new book “DMN in Action with OpenRules” at Amazon. This is a practical guide for people who want to understand how to create and maintain business decision models. The guide is based on the DMN standard and OpenRules. It is oriented to business analysts looking to build operational decision models for their own business environment.

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OpenRules Implementation of the Loan Approval Challenge

loanapprovalimageIn Dec-2016 DMCommunity.org published a new Challenge called “Loan Approval“. This challenge actually was proposed by myself based on real-world experience with one of our customers (a large bank). The most important point of this challenge was a general architecture that allows to invoke the same business logic based on real-time events coming from external sources. I described how such architecture may look like at this video that demonstrates a decision engine integrated with a PUB/SUB message broker.

However, the business logic itself also may be interesting especially if implemented using the latest DMN approach. So, I decided to do a new implementation that is described below. Everything is defined in Excel tables with zero Java code. Continue reading

New OpenRules Release 6.4.1 with DMN Why-Analyzer

whybutton“Imagine you had a Why Button handy whenever you encountered some disconnect in day-to-day business operations. Hit the Why Button and presto – answers appear in the form of relevant business rules” – Ron Ross, 2013

The release OpenRules Release 6.4.1 introduces a new add-on called “Why-Analyzer for Decision Modeling” that provides such a Why Button for decision models created in accordance with the DMN standard. Actually it is much more than just a button but rather a graphical interface that allows business analysts to analyze the results produced by their decision models using their own test cases created directly in Excel. See a brief video and try it yourself without any downloads from here. There are several more product improvements described in the release notes. You may download the latest release and try your own decision models with OpenRules Why-Analyzer. Continue reading

Building a Custom Scheduler with OpenRules and JSR-331

One of the largest Japanese telecom company is successfully using OpenRules being integrated with a BPM product produced by our partner Intra-Mart. Last month this customer asked us to help with development of a custom scheduler capable to schedule thousands of cable construction operations subject to various precedence and exclusivity constraints. Continue reading

BBC 2016

dmninactionThis year OpenRules will again be an exhibitor and a presenter at the major Business Rules and Decisions Forum 2016 at BBC conference on Oct 31- Nov 4, 2016, Las Vegas, NV. We are sponsoring this major BR&DM event for 13 years in a row.  Our event theme will be “DMN in Action” as we will show our latest advances supporting the DMN standard. We will also present our newly developed “Why-Analyzer for Decision Modeling“. If you decide to attend BBC-2016 you still may receive a 20% discount when you register using our discount code “OPENRLV1620”. Stop by at our booth T5.

Developing Custom Decision Modeling Languages with Enhanced DMN

The modern Business Rules and Decision Management Systems help users to move business logic from a code to business rules controlled by subject matter experts (not developers).  In particular, the latest Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard [1] defines powerful and broadly applicable concepts for decision modeling that allowed experts [2] to call DMN a “decision modeling language”. DMN even includes a friendly enough expression language, FEEL, to express complex relationships between different decision variables. However, DMN is a general purpose “decision modeling language” that naturally stays away from domain-specific decision modeling constructs. In this article I will discuss how to enhance DMN to support specialized decision modeling languages. Continue reading

DecisionCAMP 2016

DecisionCAMPLast year the organizers of the DecisionCAMP (including myself) were not able to organize this very popular event that started in 2008 (see the history below). So, this year I put a lot of time and efforts to revive the Decision CAMP and have become its Chair and the main driving force behind the event. Thanks to support of our colleagues from RuleML and DMCommunity.org, we will  hold DecisionCAMP-2016 on July 7-8, 2016 at Stony Brook University, New York. Continue reading

By jacobfeldman Posted in Events

DMN Interchange

The DMN 1.1 standard includes a new interchange format that soon will become public. Meanwhile, DMCommunity Apr-2016 Challenge provides a very simple xml-file for the decision model “Vacation Days” created by Bruce Silver.  Ideally, DM vendors may take this file (and much more complex DMN XML files), transform it to their own format, and execute using their own tools. While vendors are not in a hurry to support DMN XML yet, this weekend I decided to give it a try. Below I will describe the results. Continue reading

OpenRules at BBC 2016

This year OpenRules will again be an exhibitor at the Business Rules and Decisions Forum 2016 at BBC conference on Oct 31- Nov 4, 2016, Las Vegas, NV. We are sponsoring this major BR&DM event for 13 years in a row. I’ve just received a confirmation that my presentation“Why” and “What-If” Buttons for Business Decision Management” has been accepted. Here is an abstract: Continue reading

After bpmNEXT-2016

Today was the last day of bpmNext-2016 – a great event concentrated around 3 closely related technologies and their standards: BPMN, CMMN, and DMN. You may look at the program to see how many well-known experts and vendors attended the conference. The quality of presentations and informal discussions during and after the sessions was something that we all will remember after this event. Continue reading

Decision Models: Finding Alternative and Optimal Decisions

People frequently assume that a good, consistent decision model should produce one and only one decision (solution) for any valid input. However, in real-world applications we frequently deal with situations when a decision model may produce multiple feasible solutions for the same input. And it does not mean that the decision model is incomplete – simply a user may choose the most appropriate solution among all produced decisions. It can be done interactively or by adding more rules. I’ve already provided an example “Monkey Business Analyzed” that describes how to deal with multiple decisions using OpenRules What-If Analyzer.  In this post I will describe another  decision model that also shows how to choose an optimal decision among multiple feasible decisions. Continue reading

RuleML and DecisionCAMP 2016

This year OpenRules will sponsor the 10th International Web Rule Symposium RuleML that will take place at the Stony Brook University, New York on July 6-9, 2016. RuleML is well-known for building bridges between academia and industry in the field of business rules. Our CTO Dr. Jacob Feldman is a publicity chair of the conference. He is also the organizer of DecisionCAMP-2016 that will be held on July 7-8 at RuleML.  This year DecisionCAMP will focus on the new OMG standard “Decision Model and Notation (DMN)” and an emerging best practice.  If you attend, you will have a chance to meet face-to-face with many well-known decision management gurus, vendors, and practitioners.

By jacobfeldman Posted in Events

“Monkey Business” Analyzed

I decided to add the decision model “Monkey Business” to our new What-If Analyzer. It brought several considerations missed by other solutions. In this post I will discuss my implementation and will show how What-If Analyzer helps to do a through analysis of usually unnoticed aspects of business decision modeling. Continue reading

bpmNEXT 2016

This year OpenRules will participate in the bpmNEXT 2016 that will take place at Santa Barbara, CA on April 19-21, 2016. This is a very selective conference that does not allow marketing and forces the presenters to do only live demonstrations of specific achievements that have a chance to shape the next generation of Business Process Management software – including intelligent operations, the Internet of Things, case management, business decision management, and goal-directed processes. I will present “Dynamic Decision Models: Activation/Deactivation of Business Rules in Real ­Time” on Apr. 21 at 14:00. Continue reading

OpenRules 6.3.4 Introduces What-If Analyzer of Decision Models

On December 28, 2015 we published a new OpenRules release 6.3.4 that introduces What-If Analyzer, the first tool of this type in the Decision Management domain. Its main purpose is to support what-if analysis of decision models built in accordance with the DMN standard. What-if analysis is the process of changing the business rules that represent business logic to see how those changes will affect the outcome of the decision model. Here is the main view of the What-If Analyzer for the decision model “Make a Good Burger” offered by the DMCommunity.org: Continue reading

Automatically Learned Business Rules: Should We Understand Them?

Question: Should we worry that we’re building systems whose increasingly accurate decisions are based on incomprehensible foundations?

I’ve just posted an article with the same name at the LinkedIn Pulse that addresses this question. It is especially important in the context of rules-based decision making when rules that govern our decisions have been automatically generated using predictive analytics techniques. I shared two examples from OpenRules experience that explain why the automatically generated business rules should be comprehensible. The first one talks about the use of our Rule Learner at IRS. The second example deals with our Rule Compressor.

OpenRules at BBC-2015

Since its incorporation in 2003, every year OpenRules, Inc. attends, sponsors, and presents at the Business Rules Forums. This year OpenRules  will again be a sponsor and a presenter at this largest Business Rules and Decision Management event now called BBC-2015 that will be held in Las Vegas on November 2-6, 2015. Continue reading

By jacobfeldman Posted in Events