BCS FORTRAN SPECIALIST GROUP
The next meeting of the Fortran Specialist Group will
be held on Thursday 26 October 1989 from 10.30am to 4.30pm
at BCS HQ, 13 Mansfield Street, London.
The morning meeting will be normal business including
reports from X3J3 and ISO representatives and also a report
on the Fortran Forum 89 held in London and Edinburgh.
The subject of the afternoon session is Expert Systems.
Our first speaker is Professor John Nelder of Imperial
College who will introduce us to "Expert Systems: Some gen-
eral aspects, and special properties of statistical front
ends". Our second speaker is Dr. John Chelsom of NAG who
will describe "The Application of Knowledge-Based Systems to
Enhance Existing Fortran Software".
Please bring this notice to the attention of any col-
leagues likely to be interested: we particularly welcome
newcomers to the Group whether members of BCS or not.
Click here for the minutes of this meeting. Links below are to specific
sections of the agenda and minutes.
10.30 am 1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of the last meeting
3. Matters arising
4. Reports from X3J3 and ISO Representatives
5. Fortran Forum 89
(a) London 27 September 1989
(b) Edinburgh 28 September 1989
6. BCS and any other business
2.00 pm "Expert Systems"
Professor J A Nelder - Imperial College
Dr J Chelsom - Numerical Algorithms Group
John Young, Secretary.
Tel: 0734 814111 Ext 6292.
Expert Systems: Some general aspects, and special properties of
statistical front ends.
by J.A. Nelder, Imperial college
Expert systems involve the coding of expertise as a computer program.
Decisions are needed on (i) how to collect the data, (ii) how to
structure the rules, (iii) what language to code the rules in, (iv) how
to design the user interface, and (v) how to incorporate other relevant
pieces of software. Experience in developing GLIMPSE will be drawn on,
with a discussion of the special properties of front ends for statistics.
The Application of Knowledge-Based Systems to Enhance
Existing Fortran Software
by J. Chelsom, The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd
There are (at least) two ways in which one could talk about the Fortran applications of
knowledge-based systems. One of the first knowledge-based systems, called CASTNET,
was developed in Fortran during the early l970s at Rutgers University, for the diagnosis of
the eye disease Glaucoma. From this project emerged the knowledge-based system shell
EXPERT, one of several forerunners to the wide range of commercially developed shells
available today. Although most of these shells are now developed in C or as an extension to
Lisp or Prolog environments, there is at least one that is written in Fortran.
The other link between Fortran and knowledge-based systems lies in the use of knowledge-
based systems as front ends to existing Fortran software. Fortran has existed as a
programming language for some 30 years and over that time a vast number of applications
has been written. With the increasing complexity of many fields of science and technology,
it is becoming unreasonable to expect domain experts also to be expert Fortran
programmers, capable of exploiting the accumulated collection of Fortran software. It is in
this context that knowledge-based systems are emerging; as an attractive way of 'front-
ending' existing Fortran applications to make them accessible to a wider audience.
In the field of medicine, there are several projects underway that aim to link knowledge-
based systems with complex physiological models written in Fortran. While the knowledge-
based front manages the user interface and overall consultation strategy, the physiological
model offers advice about the long-term prognosis of the patient and the effects of different
therapy plans. At The Numerical Algorithms Group we are currently developing a
knowledge-based front end to the NAG Fortran Library to assist users with the selection and
use of routines suitable for particular problems. This work is being carried out as part of an
ESPRIT project which has the wider aim of developing a toolkit to assist in the construction
of knowledge-based front ends for any suitable software package.
BRITISH COMPUTER SOCIETY
FORTRAN SPECIALIST GROUP
OCTOBER 1989 NEWSLETTER
FORTRAN FORUM 89
The 1989 Fortran Forum took place at two venues on two
consecutive days. Wednesday, 27th September in the Fleming
Lecture Theatre in the Engineering Department of University
College, London saw the gathering of 37 Fortran "buffs" to
review the second draft of the Fortran 8x standard. The
following day, Thursday, 28th September in Lecture Theatre B
in the James Clerk Maxwell Building of Edinburgh University
was the turn of the Scottish "section" to review the draft.
Regrettably, only l4 people were able to attend, 5 of whom
had attended the London Forum the previous day. This year's
Forum was organised by the Group itself in conjunction with
BCS at very short notice as the second draft was already two
months into its public review period. The Group apologises
for the lack of publicity for this event but hopes that all
those interested in Fortran and who were unable to attend
the Forum will still find the time to submit their comments.
The draft standard Fortran document can still be obtained
from Karen McPhilemy at BCS HQ for the price of £15.00
each. The closing date for comments on the draft standard
for X3J3 is 24th November 1989, for BSI is 15th November
1989 and for ISO is 1st February 1990. Details of how to
submit comments are given in the front of the document.
The official date for the closure of BCS HQ is 30th June
1990 so all our forthcoming meetings will take place at
13 Mansfield Street. The Secretary, John Young, was to have
given a brief talk on the use of Fortran in Seismology at
the AGM in Oxford but it was cancelled due to lack of time.
He suggests that the afternoon session of the June meeting
is a series of short talks given by members of the Group.
If you have a particular interest with a Fortran connection
and would be willing to tell the Group about it, please
contact the Secretary.
The dates of the meetings for the next year are:-
Thursday, 26th October, 1989 - Expert Systems
Thursday, 25th January, 1990 - Parallel Processing
Thursday, 5th April, 1990 - AGM and 20th
Thursday, 28th June, 1990 - Members' Talks