“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.”
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 →
This fall as usual OpenRules will participate in two major Business Rules and Decision Management events: DecisionCAMP-2014 and BBC-2014. DecisionCAMP is much smaller but more technical to compare with BBC that is now mainly oriented to business analysts. 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 announcementhere. 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 →
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.
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 year I will chair a workshop “CPSOLVERS-2013” at the major Constraint Programming conference “CP 2013“. Preparing the workshop, we’ve decided to create an industrial overview of all supported constraint solvers currently available to business application developers. Continue reading →
There is a free tool called “pdftoexcel” that allows you to convert tables from a PDF format to Excel. This tool can safe you a lot of retyping if you have many rules tables in PDF and want to convert them to Excel-based OpenRules decision tables. 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 →
OpenRules Release 6.2.3 adds an ability to generate decision execution reports in the HTML format. These reports help a rule designer to analyze which rules were actually executed and in which order. 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 →
I believe that OpenRules users will find that a new free tool called “IceTeaReplacer” can be very useful for doing search&replace in OpenRules repositories. Here is a functional description from their website: Continue reading →
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 →
On a long flight back to the US I had a few hours to kill. So, I decided to implement one of my favorite modeling tests that I used to give to my students and they always enjoyed it. This time I wanted to try it myself with the newest OpenRules Decision Modeling facilities (see Rule Solver).
Virtual Chess Tournament Three world champions Fischer, Kasparov, and Karpov played in a virtual chess tournament. Each player played 7 games against two other opponents. Each player received 2 points for a victory, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. We know that Kasparov, known as the most aggressive player, won the most games. Karpov, known as the best defensive player, lost the least games. And Fischer, of course, won the tournament. Continue reading →
The famous RETE algorithm was invented by Dr. Charles Forgy more than 30 years ago and it still remains the foundation for most implementations of inferential rule engines. Recently Carole-Ann asked the question: why after all these years there were no practical alternatives to RETE? Continue reading →
“Reality is built in wonderful simplicity”, Eliyahu Goldratt “The Choice”
Scheduling and Resource Allocation are traditionally considered as very complex business problems. They are usually out of reach for the most rule engines. I personally learned how to deal with these complex problems during my real-world consulting practice by applying a great product called “ILOG Scheduler” written by Claude LePape and Jean-Francois Puget 20 years ago. I’ve just googled the product name and got this User Manual that has over 600 pages with a lot of C++ code. I used to teach ILOG Solver/Scheduler courses and will reuse some examples borrowed from them. Continue reading →
Today searching web for goal programming sources I suddenly learned that last year Eliyahu Goldratt died. He was 64. I remember how impressed I was with his books “The Goal” and “Theory of Constraints” that helped me with an implementation of a custom supply chain system at the end of 90’s. I remember reading “The Goal” aloud to my wife – it was more than another technical book. Not being a native English speaker, he used plain English to explain complex issues in a very unconventional way. Continue reading →
The responses to the RFP of OMG DMN (Decision Model and Notation) standard are scheduled to arrive in May of 2012. Trying to keep this process as close as possible to the everyday decision management reality, I posted several use cases at the DMN Discussion Group and tried to formulate down-to-earth questions that DMN will hopefully address. Here I want to take almost trivial rules and discuss different implementation options using decision tables. Continue reading →
The latest rules conferences RulesFest-2011, BBC-2011, and RuleML-2011 were really great events in general and for OpenRules in particular. We announced a new constraint-based Rule Engine that is the first alternative to Rete-based implementations of a real inferencial rule engine. Continue reading →
A new release 6.1.1 further advances the Executable Decision Model introduced by the OpenRules-6 in March 2011. It provides new features based on the real-world feedback. In particular, the release 6.1.1 includes more advanced templates for for Decisions, Decision Tables, and Glossaries. It also allows a user to go beyond the limitations of the Decision Model by adding different kinds of decision tables that support rules overrides. Continue reading →