Dynamic blackboard interactions¶
Knowledge sources can communicate information through the flexible blackboard storage. However, adding data to the blackboard does not trigger other knowledge sources to be executed. Such interaction – triggering knowledge source execution – is done through an event system. Specifically, knowledge sources do not actually trigger execution of other knowledge sources (since they are decoupled and have no “knowledge” of each other), but knowledge sources make a request to be triggered upon the firing of particular events.
Each knowledge source has a standard event it can trigger,
AbstractKS. Beyond that, every knowledge source class is free
to define as many additional events as reasonable for its task. Knowledge
sources cause the events themselves through a call to
notify as in the
following example, in which the knowledge source induces an event and attaches a
BlackboardEventData object holding the time that it was triggered:
notify( 'KsFiredEvent', BlackboardEventData(obj.trigger.tmIdx) );
The blackboard system a priori is totally ignorant of which events exist (clear
responsibilities principle, open to extension). It also does not monitor any
events by default, until knowledge sources request to be triggered by an event.
This request is done through the method
bind provided by the
BlackboardMonitor class, whose interface is (partially) listed in the
bind( sources, sinks, addMode, eventName )
bind method connects the
sinks knowledge sources to event
eventName (optional, defaults to
KsFiredEvent) caused by the
addMode specifies how the
handle adding the triggered knowledge sources into the agenda. It understands
the following modes, illustrated in Fig. 45:
- Add the triggered knowledge source to the end of the agenda, regardless of whether or not there is already a (not yet executed) knowledge source instantiation of this sink in the agenda from a former triggering.
- Replace old knowledge source instantiations of this sink in the agenda with the new one. Only instantiations of the sink triggered by the same source and same event are replaced. This is an important mode for knowledge sources where processing current data is more important than processing all data.
- Replace knowledge source instantiations of this sink from the same time point of parallel sources in the agenda with the new one. Only instantiations of the sink triggered at the same time and by the same event are replaced. This mode avoids sinks being unnecessarily executed several times with the same information.
- Replace old or current knowledge source instantiations of this sink
triggered by parallel sources in the agenda with the new one. Only
instantiations of the sink triggered by the same event are replaced. This
mode is a combination of the
It should be noted that the
addMode only affects triggered knowledge source
instantiations in the agenda, i.e. those that are not executed yet. As soon as
a knowledge source is executed, it is removed from the agenda (first in
executing, afterwards in