This month DMCommunity.org asked to present the best design of the notorious decision tables offered by Prof. Jan Vanthienen. It should implement the following business logic: Continue reading
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
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.
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
The recent LinkedIn discussion “What rules representation to choose for which audience?” came to the question about business analysts handing their business rules written in plain English over to IT for an implementation. Continue reading
Our customers often want to identify the actually executed rules. By default they may look at the automatically generated execution reports in the HTML format Continue reading
“Big Data” have brought “Predictive Analytics” (long-time available but hidden in the academic world under the names “Machine Learning” and “Data Mining”) to the spotlight of the modern Business Analytics. These days you will find many examples when analytics enables business decisions by supporting a path from data to decisions and actions. Below I will briefly talk about nowadays positioning of the Business Analytics and more about OpenRules own experience in this area including OpenRules Rule Learner. Continue reading
Modern decision management techniques enable business decisions by supporting a path from data to decisions and actions. Wherever people use stand-alone Business Rules, Complex Event Processing, Predictive Analytics, Optimization systems or their combinations, they prefer to put in charge subject matter experts and not software developers. Actually, all these systems tend to be declarative and allow customers to feed their systems with externally maintained business knowledge, e.g. historical data and/or already known business rules. Nowadays people in a way want to educate a general purpose system with their domain-specific knowledge avoiding traditional programming. Continue reading
By default OpenRules provides a glossary template that allows our customers to create their own business glossary in one table. Below I will explain how to split a glossary between multiple tables. Continue reading
James Taylor and I are giving a session at this year’s Building Business Capability conference on “Good Old UServ Product Derby in the Brave New World of Decision Management“at 4:50pm on the Wednesday of the show. Continue reading
DMN defines “aggregation” in the following way:
“Multiple hits must be aggregated into a single result. DMN 1.0 specifies six aggregation indicators, namely: collect, sum, min, max, average. Optionally, the aggregation indicator may be included in the table. The default is collect.”
Below is a list of my issues with this DMN 1.0 approach. Continue reading
In an ideal world we would limit ourselves to Single-Hit decision tables that cover all possible combinations of the involved decision variables. However, DMN rightfully introduced so called “multiple hit” (or “multi-hit”) decision tables to stay closer to the decision modeling reality. Continue reading
A few years ago, I wrote a web application that allowed professional communities to support Live Catalogs of different software tools. The “live” means that a product catalog is automatically updated whenever the profiles of products included into the catalog are added or updated by their authors. Continue reading
As a response to the DMCommunity.org challenge, I will describe an OpenRules-based implementation of the highly popular use case known as “UServ Product Derby”. The use case deals with automobile insurance problems including eligibility and pricing decisions for a hypothetical insurance company “UServ”. Its detailed description can be found here. Our implementation may be considered as another complex-enough example of the DMN approach. Continue reading
Contradictory business rules occur in normal business situations, and maintaining rules with exceptions is a very typical example of rule conflicts. Is it possible to automatically resolve such conflicts? Continue reading
The Decision Management Community (http://DMCommunity.org) published an interesting Challenge in Oct-2014. It deals with a quite typical problem when some business rules may be mitigated by other rules. Here is an OpenRules-based solution that follows the DMN guidelines. The main idea is to use multi-hit decision tables when more specific rules (mitigations) may override more generic rules. Continue reading
I’d like to share a little story from our recent consulting experience. Being in the midst of helping our client to deliver a large OpenRules-based banking system, we received an urgent request. The problem should be familiar to many businesses who deal with NAICS (the North American Industry Classification System). Continue reading
A new OpenRules Release 6.3.1 enhances its Test Harness with automatic comparison of expected and actual decision execution results. Continue reading
This year RuleML-2014 will be held in Prague on Aug 18-20. For the first time it will include a special track called “Learning Business Rules from Data”. As a member of the organizing committee, I posted the proper announcement here. It promises to become a very interesting event when the decision management practitioners meet their academic partners. Continue reading
This question was asked by Antonio Plais – see the LinkedIn discussion. Several practical variations of this question were mentioned: 1) Define if the same product appears more than once in the same sales order; 2) determine the uniqueness of records in a file to be loaded into a Data Warehouse. Obviously, the question deals with business rules defined on collections of objects – not the most popular topic among decision modelers. Continue reading
A new OpenRules Release 6.3.0 introduced “macro” to simplify an access to decision variables. For example, you may write a formula like below
Today Nick Broom published his own example of a decision model based on his understanding of the current version of the DMN standard. Nick is a business analyst and a well-known decision management practitioner, so his interpretation is very valuable as the standard is oriented to the business analysts (not to programmers). Nick’s example is supposed to make a decision whether an applicant is eligible or ineligible to a credit card. Nick described a simple credit card application process and designed decision requirements diagrams and related decision tables.
Starting to read his post, I decided that it could be helpful to make Nick’s decision model executable and to test if it actually produces the expected results. It took me several hours to do it using mainly Excel and the latest version of OpenRules BDMS. Continue reading
LinkedIn today is probably the most popular social network for professionals. Looking for one of my old posts, I noticed that it is not so simple to find it and many people have troubles to do it. However, when you click on your name inside any discussion you will receive links to everything you posted but only within one discussion group. Here are LinkedIn discussions that I’ve started in several groups: Continue reading
2013 was a year when OpenRules became 10 years old. These days it is a mature BR&D (Business Rules and Decision) Management product used by thousands of customers worldwide. The following statistic from http://openrules.com demonstrates the constantly growing popularity of our product: Continue reading
With a new release 6.2.6 of OpenRules® you may generate Excel files with multiple decision tables using a simple Java API. It includes class DecisionBook that corresponds to one Excel workbook (an xls-file), to which you may add multiple OpenRules® decision tables. Continue reading
OpenRules is one of the initiators and sponsors of the DecisionCAMP-2013, the
first event for Decision Management practitioners, which will be held in San Jose, CA on Nov 4-6. This event attracted many well-known experts in the business rules and decisions management area – see the agenda. We expect ~250 attendees. OpenRules will participate in the following mini-events: Continue reading
I’ve just returned from my first ever trip to Japan. I am coming back home to the US with very bright impressions of the Japanese culture and people. I was especially impressed by the deep respect and high professionalism with which people in Japan perform their jobs independently of how small or important those jobs are. I deeply appreciate the friendliness and readiness to help from people on the streets of Tokyo and Kyoto that I have not seen for a while.
“The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”, Francisco Goya
Defeasible Logic and Business Rules with Probabilities
Modern rules and decisions management systems provide effective mechanisms for development of good decision models. However, building real-world decision models people always face complex issues related to diagnostic and resolution of rule conflicts. Some systems can effectively verify decision model consistency and diagnose rule conflicts. But there are no practically used Business Rules (BR) products that claim that they may automatically resolve rule conflicts.
In the Part 1 of this series I described how end users can represent their rules in single-hit and multi-hit decision tables while avoiding rule conflicts. But is it possible to automatically resolve rule conflicts? I will discuss this problem below. Continue reading
Representing Contradictory Rules with Single-Hit and Multi-Hit Decision Tables
Modern rules and decisions management systems provide effective mechanisms for development of good decision models. However, building real-world decision models people always face complex issues related to diagnostic and resolution of rule conflicts. Some systems can effectively verify decision model consistency and diagnose rule conflicts. But there are no practically used Business Rules products that claim that they may automatically resolve rule conflicts (at least I am not aware of them). As a result, it becomes a responsibility of users to represent rules in such a way that allows them to avoid conflicts. Continue reading
This fall there will be several international events related to Decision Management: Continue reading
Today there was a post at the LinkedIn group “Looking for a simple example of representing calculations in a Decision Model” with this problem description: Continue reading
The integration of different decision making techniques finally is finding its home under the roof of the Decision Management movement. I am glad that an integrated Constraint Programming (CP), Business Rules (BR), and Machine Learning (ML) approach is gaining in popularity as well. An interesting workshop “CoCoMiLe 2013 – Continue reading
Practical people know that one of the most important property of a business rule is its ability to be violated. Here are a few examples: Continue reading
A well-known problem with decision tables is that they frequently become too big and too difficult to manage. It is also well-known that OpenRules utilizes Excel-based decision tables as its major representation mechanism for business rules. So, I decided to share some methods used by our customers to make large decision tables more compact. Continue reading
Happy 2013 to all OpenRules customers, colleagues, and friends! The WordPress.com prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
A week ago at JavaOne Conference in San Francisco I had a chance to talk directly with several providers of cloud deployment solutions for Java applications. I was really impressed with a Ukrainian startup “Jelastic” that just won the Java Community’s version of Oscar and was endorsed by Dr. Gosling – read more here. Coming back home to NJ, I decided to try it myself. I took the existing web application that implements a popular game “Nim” using OpenRules decision tables and forms. It looks as follows:
Previously this web application was deployed at the local Tomcat, and I wanted to move it to the Jelastic’s cloud with minimal efforts. And I had almost no problems of doing that! Now you may try to play Nim yourself from the cloud using this URL http://openrules.jelastic.servint.net/Nim/. What have I actually done?
While I usually prefer to stay away from marketing discussions, I cannot help noticing that during these hard economical times open source business rules products gain in popularity. Continue reading