Annotated Blackboard-System Bibliography

This annotated bibliography is organized into four sections:
  1. Introductory material and historical papers
  2. The UMass Generic Blackboard Project (1984-1989)
  3. Commercial GBB-based developments from the 1990s
  4. More recent articles and papers

The following books and articles provide a good introduction to the blackboard approach and describe its development during the late 1970s through the 1980s:
Daniel D. Corkill. Blackboard Systems, AI Expert, 6(9):40-47, September, 1991.
An overview of the blackboard approach, condensed to fit publication constraints. This article discusses the characteristics and potential of blackboard systems. It describes what a blackboard system is and what it isn't, considerations for using blackboard systems, and how to get started with a blackboard system.
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Robert S. Engelmore and Anthony Morgan, editors. Blackboard Systems, Addison-Wesley, 1988.
A collection of classic (and not so classic) blackboard system and application papers and articles written before 1986. Some were revised for this book. The Introduction and Conclusion chapters provide excellent introductory reading, and Chapters 2-4, 6, 12-14, and 26 provide an introduction to the following major blackboard systems: Hearsay-II, AGE, Hearsay III, BB1, and UMass GBB.

V. Jagannathan, Rajendra Dodhiawala, and Lawrence S. Baum, editors. Blackboard Architectures and Applications, Academic Press, 1989.
This book contains descriptions of research on blackboard architectures and their applications during the period 1987-1988. UMass GBB and the precursor to NetGBB are discussed in the following chapters: “Design Alternatives for Parallel and Distributed Blackboard Systems,” by Daniel D. Corkill, and “Performance Aspects of GBB,” by Kevin Q. Gallagher and Daniel D. Corkill.

Lee D. Erman, Frederick Hayes-Roth, Victor R. Lesser, and D. Raj Reddy, The Hearsay-II Speech-Understanding System: Integrating Knowledge to Resolve Uncertainty, Computing Surveys, 12(2):213-253, June 1980. (Also appears in Blackboard Systems, Robert S. Engelmore and Anthony Morgan, editors, pages 503-518.)
The classic retrospective on the first blackboard-system application. The article describes the characteristics of the speech understanding problem as known at the time, the special kinds of problem-solving uncertainty inherent in the problem's domain, the structure of the Hearsay-II system that was developed to cope with that uncertainty, and the relationship between the structure of the Hearsay-II system and the structures of other speech understanding systems of that era.

The following articles and papers describe the UMass GBB system (1984-1989):

Daniel D. Corkill, Kevin Q. Gallagher, and Kelly E. Murray. GBB: A generic blackboard development system. In Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pages 1008-1014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 1986. (Also published in Blackboard Systems, Robert S. Engelmore and Anthony Morgan, editors, pages 503-518, Addison-Wesley, 1988).
This paper describes the original UMass GBB system, the generic blackboard development system that was developed at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The paper outlines the reasons why UMass GBB is unique, and it describes GBB's blackboard structure and objects, implementation and instantiation of the blackboard database, and unit creation and retrieval.

Daniel D. Corkill, Kevin Q. Gallagher, and Philip M. Johnson. Achieving flexibility, efficiency, and generality in blackboard architectures. In Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pages 18-23, Seattle, Washington, July 1987. (Also published in Readings in Distributed Artificial Intelligence, Alan H. Bond and Les Gasser, editors, pages 451-456, Morgan Kaufmann, 1988.)
This paper discusses the data abstraction techniques used in the UMass GBB system to overcome the problem of conflicting goals in achieving flexibility, efficiency, and generality in a blackboard architecture.
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Daniel D. Corkill. Embedable problem-solving architectures: A study of integrating OPS5 with UMass GBB. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 3(1):18-24, March 1991.
This article describes the requirements for problem-solving architectures that can be embedded within other architectures and that can coexist with other instances of themselves and of other systems. It focuses on experience gained in embedding the public-domain version of OPS5 within the UMass GBB system.
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The following articles describe some of Blackboard Technology's commercial GBB developments in the 1990s:

Daniel D. Corkill. Countdown to Success: Dynamic objects, GBB, and RADARSAT-1, Communications of the ACM, 40(5):48-58, May 1997.
A discussion of the importance of dynamic-object capability in GBB and in the development of the RADARSAT-1 Mission Control System.
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Daniel D. Corkill. The Dynamics of Managing Change, Object Magazine 6(6):42-47, August 1996.
A description of how Blackboard Technology's blackboard and agent-based products used dynamic objects to handle complexity and changing requirements.

Daniel D. Corkill. Interview, PC AI, 10(2):32-39, March-April 1996.
In a conversation with PC AI publisher Terry Hengl, Blackboard Technology President, Dan Corkill, talks about blackboard and agent-based applications, Blackboard Technology's software products and their applications, and the history of the company.
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More recent articles and papers:

Daniel D. Corkill. Collaborating Software: Blackboard and Multi-Agent Systems & the Future. In Proceedings of the International Lisp Conference, New York, New York, October 2003.
AI researchers have used the paradigm of collaborating software systems to tackle large and difficult problems. This invited presentation compares and contrasts two markedly different collaborating-software approaches: blackboard systems and multi-agent systems. Examining collaborating software from both perspectives provides insights into the nature of collaboration, reveals unresolved problems in integrating disparate contributions, and underscores issues in coordinating collaborative activities.
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Norman Carver. A Revisionist View of Blackboard Systems. In Proceedings of the 1997 Midwest Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Society Conference, May 1997.
An exploration of the relationship between blackboard-based and belief-network approaches to interpretation problems.
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Norman Carver and Victor Lesser. The Evolution of Blackboard Control Architectures. In Expert Systems with Applications—Special Issue on the Blackboard Paradigm and Its Application, Volume 7, Number 1, pages 1-30. January, 1994.
Examines different blackboard-system control architectures and how they address understanding the long-term and global effects of possible actions relative to meeting overall system goals.
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