AI and Software Engineering -- Managing Exploratory Programming

Richard Fikes

The AI community at large has been a major contributor to software engineering by playing a pioneering role in the development of symbolic, interactive, and exploratory programming. The building of knowledge-based application systems has typically required all three of these forms of programming and has recently been particularly responsible for motivating the development of techniques for effectively managing exploratory programming activities. (See, for example, (Walters and Nielsen 1988), (Schoen and Sykes 1988), and (Fikes and Jacobstein 1989).) Since exploratory programming can be a useful methodology in a broad range of both AI and non-AI system building projects (Sheil 1983), I consider techniques for managing its use to be a significant contribution to software engineering. It is those techniques that I wish to address briefly in this note.


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