One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. – A A Milne.

For the past month or so I have been pondering how to describe the applications of rules technology on a compact but useful slide. To me, the primary uses entail automating:

  • Decisions
  • Event response
  • Processes
  • Inferences

Various products do some of these things, with varying degrees of success. I don’t think any single product would claim to do all these things well. I’m sure that some people would also like to see “Business Insights” on the list too, but as that is not my area of expertise I have taken the liberty of omitting it.

The four product categories can all trace their roots back to artificial intelligence to some extent. However, as one of my AI professors used to quip, when pressed for a definition of AI, “It’s Computer Science that doesn’t quite work yet…” So, most things can!

So without further ado or commentary, here is the diagram. I hope it will provoke some reflection and response if nothing else. I have included the XMind diagram, so don’t hesitate to hack away at it and send me your revisions.


Printable PDF file is here and an XMind diagram file (ZIP compressed) is here.