Sidebar: Advise or Control

James Sinur, an analyst at Gartner Inc., explains that rules engines are used either to control transactions and processes or to provide advice and analysis.

"About 50% of business rules engines are used in an advisory role: 'Should I do this or that?' The other 50% are used in business processes," he says.

According to Sinur, there are three categories of rules systems.

1. Simple rules externalization. This system allows an organization to express its rules in a standard format, house them in a repository, view them in decision trees or tables, and edit them as needed.

2. Inference engine. If the questions you need to put to a rules engine tend to be more sophisticated than simple "yes" or "no" equations, then you may need an inference engine, which uses probabilities and backward chaining through the rules to discover multiple possible solutions to the same end.

3. Behavioral learning. These advanced systems use case-based reasoning and are "trained" to recognize a variety of scenarios.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon