Saturday, March 15, 2008

MIKE - The forgotten hybrid rule engine

Micro Interpreter for Knowledge Engineering (Mike)

Mike is a hybrid rule engine by retired Open University Professor Marc Eisenstraat and Hull University's Dr Mike Brayshaw. The last release was version 2.50 in 1990 - so it's 18 years old. Mike formed part of the Open Universities "knowldge engineering" study pack. What's interesting is that 18 years ago they combined both prolog and rete for a hybrid reasoning system around frames (classes) - they even released the source code. As well as being a hybrid engine it also offers truth maintenance a few varieties of uncertaintity - standard, Bayes, Shortliffe and Buchanan uncertaintity. Marc Eisenstraat released a 1990 BYTE magazine article called "Build your own knowledge engineering toolkit" which was a two part overview of Mike. Mike itself is based on a 1989, almost 20 years old, paper "Building an Expert System in Prolog" by Dennis Merrit, founder of Amzi. You start to get the feeling that the mainstream rule engine development has forgotten more now than it knew 20 years ago.