This Small Business Technology Transfer Research Phase I project will perform feasibility studies of using apprenticeship learning and interactive reasoning methods, and the Disciple Technologies developed by the George Mason University Learning Agents Center, to build, utilize, and maintain regulatory knowledge bases for dynamic financial services organizations. The Disciple learning software agent can be taught directly by an expert to become a knowledgebased assistant. The expert interacts directly with a Disciple agent to teach it to solve problems in a way that is similar to how the expert would teach a human apprentice, by giving the agent examples and explanations, as well as by supervising and correcting its behavior. The agent learns from the expert by generalizing the examples and the explanations to build its knowledge base. Disciple has been applied to military challenge problems and to the intelligence analysis. The objective of this STTR Phase I effort is to use the Disciple technologies to build a prototype regulatory knowledge base for a financial services firm. The prototype will help to conduct a feasibility analysis of the Disciple technologies for these type of application domains.
Every modern enterprise must deal not only with local and global competitors, but also with local and global regulations. These regulations put tremendous burden on business operations causing workers and information systems to comply with many policies stored in a large number of ever changing documents. The current knowledge management technologies and software tools allow efficient organization and retrieval of documents, but they cannot offer efficient customized procedures to deal with specific business cases. Therefore, there is a need for flexible knowledge-based systems, like Disciple, that will offer help in solving specific cases while complying with all the rules and regulations. These systems should also be capable of acquiring reasoning skills of their users to adapt their capabilities to deal with new cases. Based on the prototype built during Phase I, Disciple abilities to support development, utilization, and maintenance of regulatory knowledge bases will be evaluated. The prototype will also help to identify research and development goals for Phase II in the following areas: quantitative reasoning and learning capabilities, knowledge base versioning, sharing, and auditing functions, and interfacing with database engines.