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Intelligent embedded systems
Odette L., Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc., Boston, MA, 1991. Type: Book (9780201517538)
Date Reviewed: Nov 1 1991

Odette discusses implementing the languages in which people normally write so-called intelligent systems. Concentrating mostly on threaded-list (FORTH), production (OPS), and logical (Prolog) languages, he presents implementation strategies and tactics in excellent detail with voluminous examples. As such, the book succeeds and would make an excellent text or reference book for someone just getting started in the domain.

The author’s premise appears to be that such knowledge is needed by anyone who would create intelligent applications in that demanding domain known as “embedded systems.” A corollary to this hypothesis is that commercially available compilers or interpreters of these languages do not exist for the processors used in such environments. This may have been valid at the time the book was begun (it has an early 1980s feel), but I doubt that it is true now. Indeed, given the unlikelihood of any application development task that has writing a compiler in its critical path finishing on time, I recommend against the strategy implied by the above discussion. Nevertheless, as noted, the book does well in its mission of introducing language implementation techniques and if that is your interest, this book may well succeed for you.

The book has many coded examples (and includes a PC diskette) but I did not study these in detail for validity or correctness. They read well and are adequately commented. The typography is good, though the point size in the examples varies from tiny to immense for no obvious reason. It is also curious (though not, I suppose, important) that many pages have virtually no bottom margin: the text runs to within a few millimeters of the bottom of the page in several instances. I noted only a few typos, none significant. References are plentiful, covering primarily mid-1970s through mid-1980s work, with some significant items from earlier and later as well. The index is adequate. No examples or homework problems are provided, limiting the work’s unaugmented use as a textbook.

Reviewer:  R. L. Wexelblat Review #: CR115313
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Computers In Other Systems (J.7 )
Applications And Expert Systems (I.2.1 )
Programming Languages And Software (I.2.5 )
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