Rules based policy engine

Matt Joyce matt.joyce at
Mon Jul 21 04:20:13 CEST 2008

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 11:08 AM, Ryan Meador <ryan.d.meador at>

> matt joyce <matt.joyce at ...> writes:
> > Ryan, what approach have your efforts taken already?
> > Any interesting insights to the problem?
> >
> > Matt
> >
> My efforts as far as applying my inference engine to the OpenMoko platform
> basically consist of a few ideas rattling around in my head -- nothing
> concrete.
>  I'm not a professional at this stuff, just an enthusiastic amateur trying
> to
> follow in the footsteps of some of the very interesting early AI research
> projects (most inference-based approaches to AI died out in the 80's, but a
> few
> are still around).  To that end, most of my work has been focused on things
> not
> directly useful to a phone platform.
> I think it's important that we use an existing general-purpose platform
> such as
> Prolog (at least, it's about as general purpose as logic programming
> gets...).
> This saves us from reinventing the wheel and also prevents us from thinking
> ourselves into a corner -- a general purpose system will likely be much
> more
> extensible and flexible for powerusers (and with this device, who isn't?)
> than
> something we dream up.  Taking an inference-based approach to setting up
> the
> rules in the phone could allow us to create rules that are more abstract
> than
> most of the examples I've seen on this list.  Instead of telling it "don't
> use
> the ringer when I'm at the office", it could be "don't use the ringer when
> I'm
> doing work".  "Work" would be defined by other rules, such as your
> proximity to
> the office, whether or not you've scheduled an appointment in the calendar
> with
> contacts from work (think lunch meeting), and if you have a deadline that
> isn't
> marked as complete and it's only an hour away (you're probably workign
> furiously
> to meet it).  That's just an example I created just now, and not
> particularly
> good -- good examples are hard to think of, but that's largely because the
> possibilities are endless.  As one other person on the mailing list noted,
> the
> possible configurations of the rules engine that are nonsensical outnumber
> the
> meaningful ones by millions to one :)
> That babbling probably wasn't very helpful to anyone, but maybe it will at
> least
> build enthusiasm.  I think the gist of it was mostly this: make it more
> flexible
> than it needs to be, and also make the rules capable of building on top of
> each
> other to create more complex conditions.  Just my $0.02 :)
> Ryan
I find myself in a real quandary about this.
On the one hand I want more flexibility, more inputs, more actions and such,
because I feel creative uses will emerge from that.
On the other hand my experience as an IT practitioner and technologist,
instinctively tells me to keep it simple.  I've spent most of my IT career
trying to remove or prevent unnecessary complexity.

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