Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japanese Rescue Robots at Work in Japan; Global Hawk Helps in Relief Missions

Visit the High Level Logic (HLL) Website
— Home of XPL (eXtensible Process Language)

It's like XML, but you can store source code in it.

Complete article: Japanese Rescue Robots at Work in Japan, CRASAR on Standby

Excerpt: Japan's leading experts in rescue robotics are deploying wheeled and caterpillar-like robots to assist emergency responders in the search for survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last Friday.

Dr. Robin Murphy, director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) at Texas A&M University, in College Station, and one of the world's top experts in rescue robotics, confirms that a team led by Satoshi Tadokoro from Tohoku University has deployed to Sendai and one led by Eiji Koyanagi from Chiba Institute of Technology's Future Robotics Technology Center has deployed to Tokyo.

Complete article: Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Flying Over Japan to Aid in Relief Missions

Excerpt: A Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) Global Hawk drone, based in Guam, is flying over Japan collecting data and imagery for Japanese government relief efforts, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

The drone, best known for missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, “is being used exclusively in relief efforts at the request of the Japanese government,” said the U.S. Forces- Japan spokesman, Air Force Major Joseph Macri, in an e-mail statement. It was also used over Haiti last year for broad-area surveillance.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HLL: Artificial Intelligence for Math Tutorial

Visit the High Level Logic (HLL) Website
— Home of XPL (eXtensible Process Language)

It's like XML, but you can store source code in it.

I've emphasized the history of thought behind HLL. Recently a retired teacher sent me a copy of a letter that I sent to her more than 20 years ago. At the time, she was working with a software company and a programmer to create a mathematics tutorial game. She had asked for my input after I mentioned A.I. as a way to improve the teaching performance of tutorial games. I provided the following: August 27, 1989. Keep the HLL General Problem Solver in mind. Not only could it provide a detailed report to the human tutor, but that same mechanism could be used to automatically alter the tutorial.


The math tutor provides one on one instruction to the math student. The unique approach taken in the design of the software system is based on artificial intelligence techniques. These techniques are applied to continuously analyze the student's performance. Analysis is also done at a more detailed level than might usually be expected of a software system.

Continuous, detailed tracking of performance is required in order for the system to “decide” what specific skills, numbers, or operations the student is having trouble with, and how to structure tutorials or exercises to correct the difficulty. The student does not have to work through an entire set of problems, receive feedback in the form of a score, and then move up or down to a different level. Progress is encouraged by a system that continuously adapts to the student's needs, creating and presenting appropriate responses – customized to the individual needs – automatically, as the student works.

The approach helps to student progress in understanding mathematical concepts and become more competent in the application of mathematics to everyday problems. Boredom is abated by continuously keeping up with the student's abilities. Frustration is reduced by responding to problems as quickly as possible. In a sense, the use of artificial intelligence techniques allows the software to act a little more human by being more flexible, and responding more quickly to the student's needs. This explains the description of the software as a “one on one instructor.”