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Web-based Configuration Assistants Giuseppe Attardi

Summary: Web-based Configuration Assistants
Giuseppe Attardi
Antonio Cisternino
Maria Simi
Dipartimento di Informatica, UniversitÓ di Pisa, Italy
{attardi, cisterni, simi}@di.unipi.it
Abstract. Configuration assistants are tools for guiding the final user in simple configuration
tasks, such as product assembling and customisation or study plans generation. For their wide
availability, Web-based configuration assistants are valuable in fields such as electronic commerce
and information services. We describe a general approach for building web-based configuration
assistants: from a high level description of the configuration constraints and of the basic items,
given in a declarative language, the hypertext files for user guidance and the Java code for
constraint checking are generated. We claim that the general approach of process oriented
configuration, where the user is guided through the configuration process by an explanatory
hypertext, as opposed to product oriented configuration, where one starts from a high level
description of the product of the configuration, is better suited for many application domains.
1 Introduction
In the terminology of expert systems, configuration systems are a subclass of design systems,
whose task is to assemble a product out of a set of predefined parts according to problem
specific constraints [Hayes-Roth, Waterman & Lenat 1983]. Examples of configuration


Source: Attardi, Giuseppe - Dipartimento di Informatica, UniversitÓ di Pisa


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences