David Young suggested that I talk to the JESS guys, as implementing backward chaining on top of our existing data structure (a Rete network) could be quite convenient.

They turned me down, which is not too surprising, considering that it is licensed commercially. Nevertheless, I’ve found some other sources on implementing backward chaining on a Rete network.

I haven’t read them yet, but they could prove useful.

- Integration of Forward and Backward Inferences Using Extended Rete Networks (by Yong H. Lee and Suk I. Yoo), found in Industrial and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems (proceedings of the 1996 conference). The text costs ~$300, and the BYU Library only has copies of 5 of the ~20 years indexed, so it is not surprising that they are missing that specific year. Luckily, the entire text of the article is available online.
- Goals and backward chaining using the Rete Algorithm (by Paul Haley)
- Design and Control of Parallel Rule-Firing Production Systems (by Daniel E. Neiman). Although not specifically focused on mixed-mode inference engines or the Rete algorithm, it may provide some interesting perspective.
- Peter Lin‘s work seems to be very interesting. His blog is closed to the public, however. I’ve just sent an email, hoping that he will give me an invitation.

## 6 Comments

Peter Lin just contacted me. He recommends the article by Paul Haley.

He also mentioned that Paul Haley, Dr. Charles Forgy, and Earnest Friedman-Hill know more than he does about backward chaining.

Dr. Forgy came up with the “Rete II” algorithm. From what I can infer from wikipedia and a post by Peter Lin, it seems to be a (modified?) Rete network with backward chaining.

Associations with backward chaining on Rete:

Paul Haley

– afore-mentioned paper

Dr. Charles Forgy

– inventor of the Rete, Rete II and Rete III algorithms

Ernest Friedman-Hill

– creator of Jess

I found a reference to an index of various papers on inference engines, many of which may be relevant.

http://www.kbsc.com/whitePapers.html

I would recommend Paul Haley’s article to anyone interested in backward chaining and subgoaling. it’s an excellent paper.

Re: Lee & Yoo

“Luckily, the entire text of the article is available online.”

Erm, seems the last two pages are missing, but if you know otherwise, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

When I wrote this, all pages were available, but the more I accessed it, the less became available…

I ended up getting a pdf of it through the uni’s interlibrary loan when parts of it started to disappear. If google’s preview isn’t sufficient, and you can’t get it otherwise, I’ll forward it.

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