Title: A Constraint-Based Approach to the Description and Detection of Fitness-for-Purpose
Authors: Simon White and Derek Sleeman
Series: Linköping Electronic Articles in Computer and Information Science
ISSN 1401-9841
Issue: Vol. 5 (2000), No. 037
URL: http://www.ep.liu.se/ea/cis/2000/037/

Abstract: This paper introduces the notion of fitness-for-purpose, presents a tractable, approximate approach to the recognition of fitness-for-purpose, and describes a working implementation using constraint programming.

The property of fitness-for-purpose states whether running a software component with a supplied set of inputs can satisfy a given goal. Our interest is to assess whether a chosen problem solver, together with one or more knowledge bases, can satisfy a given problem-solving goal. In general, this is an intractable problem. We therefore introduce an effective, practical, approximation to fitness-for-purpose based on the plausibility of the goal. We believe that constraint (logic) programming provides a natural approach to the implementation of such approximations. We took the Common LISP constraints library SCREAMER and extended its symbolic capabilities to suit our purposes.

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