Wafa Bunney, Sara Curson, Jeff Lemmer and Joanne Scollard, Ford Parts and Service Division; John DeSantis and Richard Smith, Ford Corporate System
The expert system for claims authorizaiton and processing (ESCAPE) is an expert system that was developed by Ford Motor Company’s Parts and Service Division Systems Activity. This system is used in the validation process for incoming warranty claims. The program checks each incoming claim and attaches an error code to any that are not valid. ESCAPE replaces a portion of an existing COBOL program which served the same function, but which became increasingly difficult to maintain. The large volume of changes to the code made the COBOL program very hard to organize and modify. ESCAPE was developed using ART-IM/MVS, the new release of Inference Corporation’s Automated Reasoning tool for the IBM mainframe environment. Three systems programmers and one systems analyst responsible for the COBOL program and two expert system developers from Ford Corporate systems made up the project team. This project is unique in two ways. First, it was developed as a replacement to an existing program in a conventional language because the representation of warranty policies is more natural in ART-IM. Second, it operates as a part of a larger conventional COBOL system which batch processes a large number of warranty claims every night on an IBM 3090 mainframe.