Diagnosing Delivery Problems in the White House Information-Distribution System
As part of a collaboration with the White House Office of Media Affairs, members of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed a system, called COMLINK, that distributes a daily stream of documents released by the Office of Media Affairs. Approximately 4,000 direct subscribers receive information from this service, but more than 100,000 people receive the information through redistribution channels. The information is distributed through e-mail and the World Wide Web. In such a large-scale distribution scheme, there is a constant problem of subscriptions becoming invalid because the user's e-mail account has terminated. These invalid subscriptions cause a backwash of hundreds of bounced-mail messages each day that must be processed by the operators of the COMLINK system. To manage this annoying but necessary task, an expert system named BMES was developed to diagnose the failures of information delivery.
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