Projects

Usability and automated decisioning are Mindlore's key expertise areas. Our team is actively engaged in research to advance the current state-of-the-art and develop future technologies that empower non-technical business users in managing and executing business policies. Our team has extensive expertise in user interfaces for rule/decision management systems, at Mindlore and previous positions.

Examples of the diversity of our work:

Mortgage Underwriting Policy Automation
We have been engaged with GMAC-RFC since 2002 for technology consulting on their decision platform for evaluating mortgage loans. GMAC-RFC is the leading non-conforming mortgage conduit in the United States, processing over 20,000 loans a day. We have analyzed their application domain, and provided an evaluation of technologies and products that can improve their business. We have also developed a mathematical model of their legacy decisioning platform and a tool to facilitate extraction of embedded business logic from it, to facilitate migration to future decision platforms.

Visual Design Methodology and Tools for MultiAgent Systems
This work developed software design methodologies for MultiAgent systems and received the 2004 NASA Research Excellence Award. We designed an activity-centric programming paradigm for multi agent systems and extended UML to create a visual design language to define the interactions among agents (agent protocols). This effort also produced a visual tool for designing interaction protocols, which in turn can be automatically interpreted and executed by agents without requiring additional programming. This tool was integrated with Rational Rose™ from Rational Software, the de-facto standard object oriented design tool. This effort, a precursor to model-driven architectures that has recently gained momentum, enables capturing high-level business logic through effective user interfaces.

Localization/Internationalization Expert System for Usability
This project, funded by National Institute of Standards and Technology, allowed us to lay the groundwork for developing a usability expert system for localization and internationalization. While there are broad usability principles applicable across the globe, many usability rules and standards are locale specific. Most eCommerce vendors in the US struggle with usability when they expand to the global market place, even after they translate their user interfaces for their target markets. We developed a novel approach to encapsulate locale-specific usability rules, principles, and best practices in expert-system modules in order to automatically provide usability advice to UI designers and developers.

Brightware and Firepond Rule Management Products
Brightware Inc., a pioneer start-up in rule technology, operated as a custom solution provider on their ArtEnterprise rule engine platform, until end of nineties, at which time the custom solution branch was spun-off as a new company called Mindbox. Brightware then focused on developing customer service products on a new knowledge management architecture until it was acquired by Firepond in 2001. Brightware customer service products helped large companies respond to their customer inquiries efficiently and effectively, thereby improving customer satisfaction while reducing call center costs, resulting in customer retention and increased profitability. This award winning suite is deployed internationally at over one hundred companies, including such recognizable names as Best Buy, Borders, Compaq, Continental Airlines, Swiss Air, and Sabena. Mindlore team held key positions at Brightware and Firepond (Director of Product Development, Director of Usability, and Chief GUI Designer), and contributed to the development of the decision engine, design of the user interfaces for the end users, and the rule authors. They are also very familiar with ArtEnterprise, which remains in the marketplace ala Mindbox. Mindlore team members moved to Firepond, when it acquired Brightware, and helped improve the usability of the Firepond Sales Automation and Product Configuration Suite. Below are some of the awards Brightware eService Suite received:
  • Customer Inter@ction Solutions™ Product of the Year 2000 & 2001 - In recognition of outstanding contributions to the customer relationship and contact center industries.
  • TMC Labs Innovation Award 2000.
  • Best of Communications Solutions™ Expo Spring 2000 Award.
  • CRM Excellence Award for 2000 from Call Center Solutions and Internet Telephony magazines
What differentiates these products in the market and makes it relevant to this proposal, is the same underlying reason for its success: Enabling non-technical business users to manage complex decision making processes and advanced technologies through innovative user interfaces. We were able to empower non-technical users to create and maintain knowledge bases in tandem with changing business requirements by the following: We assured that the structure concepts underlying the knowledge base were intuitive, cohesive, and consistent, and based on a well-founded mathematical semantics.

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