Sunday, 14 October 2018

A Simple Example of how CODIL works

J M asked "How would these symbiotic - easy to understand computers - look like? how would they work?"

The computer hardware would look like a conventional computer, and in fact any commercial system would probably combine both technologies. The difference is in the way you would interact with it.

The original idea (see The SMBP Story) related to a very large commercial sales contract program in 1967.  The workings can best be explained in terms of a very simple network model.

Imagine a board with a number of light bulbs on it - each light bulb represents a commercial concept such as CUSTOMER or PETROL - and some bulbs could also have numbers  associated with them. If a customer contract referred to a discount it might be written:

CUSTOMER = SMITH; PRODUCT = PETROL; 
QUANTITY >= 1000; DISCOUNT = 10%

This would indicate that the bulbs for CUSTOMER and SMITH were linked, as where the bulbs for PRODUCT and PETROL, etc. In addition there would be links between the linked pairs.

Similarly there would be a pricing table with statements such as:

PRODUCT = PETROL; QUANTITY >= 500; 
UNIT PRICE =  15

with the appropriate bulbs linked.

To Price a delivery the nodes equivalent to the following would be switched on:

CUSTOMER = SMITH; PRODUCT = PETROL; 
QUANTITY >= 1000

and the this would automatically turn on the lights for 

DISCOUNT = 10%  and UNIT PRice = 15

The important thing is that everything is done in terms of concepts the user can understand, and the system deduced what needs doing. The approach is application independent and can easily show the user what it is doing and why. Effectively it is a transparent system, where conventional computers are black boxes. 

In practice the experimental interpreters hold all the links in a table and for each input they automatically look up the relevant links. Instead of a very large pricing program which will price any sale, you have a table-lookup which - in effect - works out a purpose-build mini-program for each transaction. 


A detailed paper is being drafted for this blog and will appear shortly



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