Wegener Communications
Technology Park
11350 Technology Circle
Deluth, GA 30097

Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 01:29:22 -0500

Mr. Rod Welch
The Welch Company
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111 2496

Subject:   SDS and knowledge systems


Thanks for your follow up [ letter on December 17, 2000], to my inquiry regarding usage of the SDS system. [as further explained in your record, also, on December 17, 2000...]


Although I am very interested in the system, I'm afraid the cost to bring you out here to do setup and installation would be prohibitive for me to undertake for personal evaluation at this time. I definitely plan to try to build interest in these methods at my place of business, and hope that at some future time we may be able to investigate the use of this system or a similar methodology corporately.

My interest in the SDS system is as much academic as it is practical, and if you would be willing I would still be very interested in arranging to come visit you and see a demonstration of the system. A primary area of interest for me is in creating knowledge based systems that categorize information and create accessibility to that information automatically, for instance by creating a hierarchical index to that information using AI principles of natural language processing and by processing natural language queries about the content of the knowledge base. It seems that your schedule-diary methodology is a logical and efficient starting point for recording that information and entering it into the system.

I see that you have done some work on creating hierarchical indexes to the diary record knowledge, as you indicate in your typical day scenario -


                           CPU #cjc022
                                     Delayed Screen in SDS

                                 Delayed Screen in Windows

                            Windows 3.1
                                 Delayed Screen in SDS
                                    Delayed Screen in SDS

                              Windows Interface
                                   Delayed Screen in SDS

Looking at this index it appears the entry into this index is done manually, since related topics are reported under different names (e.g., items relating to windows are categorized under 'windows', 'windows 3.1' and 'windows interface', all of which are related to windows but seem to be separate entites as far as the subject index is concerned).

An interest of mine is is in developing systems which will help automate this process, by parsing the content of the diary or summary notes to create access to this knowledge from multiple paths or contexts automatically, allowing the user to enter the information as briefly as possible while still categorizing the information under all related topics. I am hoping to talk to various universities which have AI/cogsci departments working in related fields and would like to do some more study into this area. If you have any suggestions as to contacts in this area who would be willing to discuss their research with a prospective student it would be much appreciated, as I am really just now starting to investigate. I know that you have been doing alot of work with the folks at stanford and the SRI.

Thanks again for your time.


Matt Placek