Design of High Performance Help Desk Application and Its Implementation Results

Charles S. Moon, Thomas A. Shore, Gary Brophy, Dennis Koski

The primary purpose of this paper is to discuss the design and implementation of an automated help desk application called "Remote Expert System To Optimize Repair Efficiency" (RESTORE) currently deployed in the IBM Corporation at Rochester, Minnesota. It was designed in 1992 mainly to enhance the support of AS/400 business computer systems. In order to familiarize those readers with the topics being discussed, an overview of the product support strategy will be provided as a part of the introduction.

The RESTORE application is one of the most successful implementations of Knowledge Based Systems (KBS) and Case-based Reasoning (CBR) technology in IBM history. It is currently deployed and used very successfully in AS/400 product support, saving tens of millions of dollars in support cost each year. This complex system was designed with a blackboard architecture to enable the use of multiple knowledge sources. These knowledge sources include several rule-based subsystems and a large case-based subsystem, all tied together with a blackboard control module. This innovative design takes advantage of the strength of KBS and CBR by using the concept of blackboard architecture which allows these knowledge-based subsystems to coexist and contribute.

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