Beyond the Prototype: The Design Evolution of a Deployed AI System

Cheryl Martin and Debra Schreckenghost

This paper describes the evolution, from prototype to deployment, of the software engineering approach for a personal assistant agent-based system. This discussion is presented as a case study, relating experiences and lessons learned from our work with the Distributed Collaboration and Interaction (DCI) environment. Our development of this system is based on the spiral software engineering methodology, which incorporates iterative cycles of improved design, implementation, and evaluation. We first describe the techniques we used to bootstrap the implementation of this large, distributed AI system, and then we describe how we accommodated more advanced requirements as the system matured.

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