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Constructionist Design Methodology

Aliases: CDM, Constructionist A.I.

Keywords: cdm, constructionist a.i., hybrid intelligence, interactive systems, mirage, openair

Categories: Data Models


Author(s): Graham Booth

The 'constructivist design methodology' (CDM) is a technique used in the field of artificial intelligence which utilizes an iterative design process, focusing on modularization and messaging, to reduce the time taken in the design and implementation of large interactive intelligences. CDM was designed as a technique to ‘divide and conquer’ the problems encountered in large integrated systems, as implementing applied, integrated and broad AI systems such as: vision, real-world cognition and humanoid visualization as one system, can require a developer to be an expert in many different fields within AI, as well as physics and engineering.

Due to its iterative modularization process, CDM eliminates this problem. Each part of the system can be implemented as a separate module, by separate developers, who have experience in their respective field and do not need to know how other modules in the system work. Because systems are broken down in this way (similar to the 'Black Box' concept in OO), this allows for parallel implementation of AI systems, dramatically speeding up the implementation of large integrated systems. Each module in CDM is named and communicates with other modules by use of messaging. This forms a highly cohesive network of integrated independent modules, with minimal coupling. Viewed as a single entity the network forms a coherent system, behaving as one collective unit.

The first application of CDM as a technique, was by its creator Kristinn R. Thórisson and his students at Columbia University on the MIRAGE project in 2004. MIRAGE employed a graphical agent in an augmented-reality environment, that was able to process speech and pointing commands (See figure 1.1), the work done on CDM and MIRAGE is now currently being developed further by Reykjavik University. CDM as a technique builds on tried and tested standards such as modularization, scheduling blackboards, messaging as well as publish and subscribe mechanisms.

Figure 1.1 - The MIRAGE system’s graphical agent as viewed by the user through a head set


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