MCC Proteus Project

Proteus was a hybrid reasoning and representation project at Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC). It started in the AI Lab directed by Woody Bledsoe. Charles Petrie was the official Project Leader, and specialized in Dependency-Directed Backtracking. David Russinoff was the principal architect. Donald Steiner was the other original member of the project who contributed initial ideas, the user interface, integration of systems, and general systems testing, debugging, and improvements. The first version was released as MCC Document MCC/AI/TR-0101-05 in 19851. In later years, the project was led by Elaine Rich. Other members of the project at various later times include Michael Huhns, Nathanial Ballou, Vasant Dhar, Natraj Arni, Michael Gray, David Bridgeland, James Christian, James Shea, MunindarSingh, William Schelter, and Shiuh-li Liuh.

The project is reviewed as a case study in Chapter 5 of R&D Collaboration on Trial by David V. Gibson and Everett M. Rogers (c)1994.

The project produced an advanced expert system shell that combined frames with inheritance, forward and backward chaining rules, an advanced Truth Maintenance System2, and Dependency-Directed Backtracking with fix rules3 that led to Redux4. The system was used in the first commercial product based on MCC technology: the NCR Design Advisor, developed by Robin Steele5.

1This and most other releases were company confidential. One early non-confidential report was "Proteus 2: System Description", C. Petrie, D. Russinoff, D. Steiner, and N. Ballou, MCC TR AI-136-87, 1987.

2Russinoff, D., "An Algorithm for Truth Maintenance," MCC Technical Report AI/TR-062-85, 1985.

3Petrie, C., "Revised Dependency-Directed Backtracking for Default Reasoning", Proc. AAAI-87, pp. 167-172, AAAI Press, July 1987. Also MCC TR AI-002-87.

4Petrie, C., "Constrained Decision Revision", Proc. AAAI-91, pp. 393-400, AAAI Press, July 1992. Also MCC TR EID-414-91, 1991.

5R. Steele, S. Richardson, and M. Winchell, "DesignAdvisor: A knowledge-based integrated circuit design critic," [DesignAdvisor] IAAI-89, pp. 135-142, AAAI Press, 1989.

Last modified: Tue Dec 18 18:14:30 PST 2001