Seadle’s goal was to write “a practical book for systems programmers, computer center managers, and others interested in automated decision making for their mainframe system.” He has produced a readable book that meets that goal.
This book presents the subject through a series of well-chosen examples that illustrate areas where the application of expert systems is appropriate. Theory as such is not emphasized, but many concepts are presented in the examples.
In chapter 1, the reader learns that the material will be presented in a narrative describing the experiences of Fred Magellan, a systems programmer with no expert systems background, who was selected to investigate the feasibility of expert systems for his company, Multicover Insurance. While I viewed the proposed approach as somewhat hokey at first, I was pleased to find that it led to a natural and interesting presentation of the material.
The first four chapters serve as a gentle introduction to expert systems. In each of the following nine chapters, a 30-to-90–rule expert system that handles some aspect of systems programming or computer center management is presented. The chapter titles are
This well-written book should be of greatest value to the expert system novice who is interested in the identification of small practical applications that provide a low-risk environment for gaining experience with expert systems.
(5) Performance Tuning,
(6) VSAM Definer,
(7) Memory Management,
(8) An Information Finder,
(9) A Software Selector,
(10) A Job Prioritizer,
(11) Hot Line Operation,
(12) Emergency Handler, and
(13) Disaster Recovery.