This paper develops a philosophy for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques as aids in engineering project management.
First, we propose that traditional domain-independent, ‘means–and’ planners, may be valuable aids for planning detailed subtasks on projects, but that domain-specific planning tools are needed for work package or executive level project planning. Next, we propose that hybrid computer systems, using knowledge processing techniques in conjunction with procedural techniques such as decision analysis and network-based scheduling, can provide valuable new kinds of decision support for project objective-setting and project control, respectively. Finally we suggest that knowledge-based interactive graphics, developed for providing graphical explanations and user control in advanced knowledge processing environments, can provide powerful new kinds of decision support for project management.
The first claim is supported by a review and analysis of previous work in the area of automated AI planning techniques. Our experience with PLATFORM I, II and III, a series of prototype AI-leveraged project management systems built using the IntelliCorp Knowledge Engineering Environment (KEE™), provides the justification for the latter two claims.