Paul Fernhout wrote:
> [snipped stuff on error recovery]
In regard to:
231550 - Need example of errors that require "recovery" capability
231551 - system. What is the "system" doing that can make an
An example would be if your email system automatically categorizes
emails for you based on content and word frequency. (IBM's doing some
cutting edge work on this by the way.) Every once in a while you might
review some of the categorizations and correct them. For example, the
system might put all your email from this mailing list under UnrevII but
you might want some but not all of it to also be categorized under
"Knowledge Management". The "error" here is a miscategorization base on
your wishes, which you may not have made clear to the system, or which
the system algorithms may not be quite able to handle 100%.
Another example might be that you realize there are two Doug Engelbart's
sending you email but they are categorized together -- you go in to the
system and review all the correspondence and split them apart (perhaps
using tools that help you differentiate based on email address) and then
build a way to always keep them separate. Or likewise, you get email
both from an "Rod Welch" and "Welchco" and you decide you want them
Another issue might be merging two knowledgebases, you might need to
review concepts which don't match up and decide which are similar or
different (assuming the system was 99% accurate but there were thousands
I've seen these sorts of things with database in a textual sense when
importing data. This isn't the same situation, but often when importing
data you may need to review it and modify it slightly first (fix up
spellings or missing entries) to import it into a database.
Probably the best example I can think of is that you run some badly
written piece of code (or code with assumptions or prerequisites your
system does not adhere to) and it adds bad or incomplete data to your
database. You then add some good data you don't want to loose, so
rollback isn't easy. You might then need to go in by hand and find and
fix the bad data based on an understanding of the code and what it did
wrong. That wouldn't be easy to automate.
Finally -- your database suffers physical (disk) corruption but you want
to save what you can. A person might go in and see what is salvageable
and direct various tools to recover parts of the data.
Obviously, to the extent any of these situations become common, one
might develop specific tools and procedures to make these easier to do,
or performed more automatically with a minimum of understanding needed
of the system architecture. Most of these "error" situations revolve
around automatic procedures which only worked partially to begin with
(where 99.99% success may still leave work to do), or changing needs or
perceptions not planned for originally might require restructuring to
how things are stored and careful attention paid to prevent loss or
misplacement of data.
It's analogous to work on a car. I can put gas in the tank, put air in
the tires, change the wiper blades, and maybe notice that soemthing
sounds wrong, but for some major repair (replacing a failed alternator)
or preventive maintainence (replacing the brakes), the mechanic has the
tools and experience to do the job faster with more surety than I could.
That's not to say a lot of people don't work on their own cars -- just
that there is still a demand for mechanics. It isn't cost effective or
practical with current technology to make cars that run for a thousand
years without any maintainence -- although some of today's cars can go
100K+ miles without a tune up.
Of course, with a mechanic, there isn't as big a privacy issue as
letting a DBA poke around your confidential database...
P.S. Your Welchco system vs. this email list provides an interesting
example of knowledge management & integration issues from using multiple
systems. You have questions but I don't know of them if I only look at
the email list. So either I need to check several systems myself, or I
need a system sophisticated enough (Apple's Knowledge Navigator
prototype?) that it does if for me and presents it in a common format.
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