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Association of Data Processing Managers

Meeting Agenda

Arnold's Restaurant
July 8, 198212:00 Noon

  1. Introduction of Guests

  2. Presentation of Guest Speaker: Mr. James Wilson
    Division Staff Manager, Planning
    Data Systems Division
    Pacific Northwest Bell

    DPA Member and Chairman of the Acquisition Subcommittee
    "Expectations of the DPA Acquisitions Subcommittee"

  3. Approval of Minutes

  4. Treasurers Report

  5. ADPM Board Report

  6. DPA Announcements

  7. Old Business


  8. New Business

  9. Correspondence

  10. Other Comments

  11. Adjourn

ASSOCIATION MINUTES OF DATA PROCESSING MANAGERS

JUNE 3, 1982

1. Called to Order: John Aikin.

2. Introduction of Guests:

. Bernie Mullens, Assistant Director, Department of Personnel

. Don Bohlin, Weyerhaeuser . Cliff Otis, Weyerhaeuser

. Dr. Richard Morgan, Executive Director, Washington Community College Computing Consortium

3. Joe Coogan introduced our guest speaker for the day. The guest speaker was E. Robert Keller. Mr. Keller is the Director of Customer Support for Artificial Intelligence. Mr. Keller's subject for the day was "User Friendly Software", specifically INTELLECT.

INTELLECT

Very generally INTELLECT is an ad hoc query system. Even more generally and more basically it is used to translate natural conversational English into some formal language which can be used for computer processing.

Mr. Keller first discussed the general functions of INTELLECT and the processing that it goes through. After covering this and the general functions of INTELLECT, he pointed out the characteristics of INTELLECT, which are:

INTELLECT can format a certain percent of its reports, such as summary reports and bar graphs. The bar graphs are comprised of simple asterisks. INTELLECT does not contain a report writer. Releases of INTELLECT come out about every six months.

INTELLECT was designed primarily for that large body of people who do not know programming languages, but do in fact know English and use it every day in their business. The entire philosophy of artificial intelligence which is embodied in the INTELLECT package is to provide a query system which is compatible with the language people use every day in their work.

In a 1973 study of user information needs, Robert Landau urged the development of systems whose medium of communication is the highest level end-user language: natural English. Landau pointed out that anything less than comprehension of our native English requires excessive training of end users, training which is wasted unless the end-users use the system frequently. INTELLECT understands natural English, and so it requires minimal end-user training.

What is required is a system which can deal with the full, redundant, and ambiguous richness of English as we use it, including forgetting the typical ungrammatical English most of us use in daily communication. It must find acceptable such common place irregularities as misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, and sentence fragments. INTELLECT is such an understanding, forgiving system.

What of the apparent drawbacks to using English as a system language? English can be wordy; English is ambiguous; English cannot describe complicated processing easily. The highest level of user language implies the ability to be verbose or concise, the ability to detect and often resolve ambiguity, and the ability to specify at a high level the most complex processing available on a modern computer. INTELLECT manifests this highest level of user language. INTELLECT understands natural English.

The beauty of natural English lies in the speakers freedom to express the same concept in a variety of ways: some verbose, some concise. It should be clear that nearly any complete English statement can be shortened to include only the essential pieces of information. In other words, verbosity is an option in English, certainly not a requirement.

The range of English understood by INTELLECT is restricted more by the data and the available processes than it is by INTELLECT's grammar. INTELLECT can parse a large subset of the English spoken by most users. Needless to say, a query which is meaningless either to the user or in terms of available data will probably be meaningless to INTELLECT.

INTELLECT can handle most declarative and interrogative forms with as many convoluted subordinate clauses as are required to express the sense of the user's questions. A query can consist of several sentences if it seems desirable to break up the input that way.

Mr. Keller went on to provide numerous examples of various queries and how INTELLECT would act with each one of them. Questions and answers were dotted throughout the presentation. If you wish any further information regarding the software called INTELLECT, please contact:

Mr. E. Robert Keller
Director of Customer Support
Artificial Intelligence Corp.
200 5th Avenue
Waltham, Mass. 02254
phone: (617) 890-8400

4. Approval of Minutes: There were three corrections to the minutes.

. Page three - Funding Vehicles: add onto that line "Each insured up to a maximum of $100,000".

. Under Funding Vehicles: Types 2, cross out b. insurance only.

. Page Four - Under Funding Vehicles: Types 3, WSECU change a. to read "first and second mortgages currently as well as some money market accounts".  

The minutes were approved as corrected.

5. Treasurer's Report: Starting cash $1,393.20. We received interest of $7.73 and two subscriptions, which total $40.00, bringing our cash to $1,440.93. Expenditures: $6.00 for speaker's lunch, $132.86 for outgoing officers plaques leaving a cash balance of $1,302.07.

6. ADPM Board Report - John Aikin gave a very brief report on the Board meeting. The Board has met three times since our last meeting. The Board discussed three subjects. 1) Goals and Objectives of the Managers Association. 2) Setting up the Fall Forum. 3) Our recent election.

7. DPA Report:

Jim Michal reported for the DPA meeting which was held on June 2, 1982.

1. There was a meeting of the ADP Planning Committeewhich was proposed by Mr. Taller. It was noted that Lieutentent Governor Cherberg has been replaced by Mr. Jim Wilson on that Committee. They held their first meeting and it was primarily an organization meeting. The essence of the meeting was that they were reassessing the role of the DPA in light of the OIS direction.  

NOTE: Dr. Aikin indicated that on behalf of the Managers Association, he had sent a letter to Lieuntenant Governor Cherberg indicating that the Data Processing Managers Association would like to playa constructive role in the process of the planning committee.

2. The Department of Corrections first data processing plan was approved at yesterday's meeting.

3. Acquisitions

Department of Transportation's central processor upgrade was approved.

8. Old Business:

A. Don Brown reported that many meetings have been going on between the Personnel Liaison Committee and the Department of Personnel in reaching a decision on what DOP needed to know on CSA examination procedures. They will continue to work with DOP in reaching agreement on the CSA procedures very soon.

B. Tan Bennett reported for the Office of Automation Technical Committee. They are continuing to work with General Administration in trying to decide which kinds of Office Automation equipment should be purchased under DPA regulations and which under the Purchasing Division of the Department of General Administration. 

9. New Business:

A. Emory Kramer reported on the outcome of the Board election. There were 39 ballots sent out, 36 of which were returned. Members elected to two year terms on the Board of Directors were Dennis Jones of OFM, Bob Payne Library Systems, and Ron Pierce, Department of Retirement. Mr. Bill Lundberg of Department of Natural Resources will complete Mr. Wolf's tenure on the Board of one more year. Mr. Wolf is retiring as of the end of June 1982.

B. Mr. Aikin reported on the Officer's election. There were 73 ballots cast for the offices of Secretary/Treasurer, Program Chairman, and Newsletter Editor. The winners for those offices are Sunny Schomburg from the Council on Higher Education will be the Secretary/Treasurer, Mr. Cliff Cotey from WDPSC will be the Program Chairman, and Mr. Galen Schmidtke from Thurston County Central Services will be the Newsletter Editor.

C. Mr. Will Wolf then awarded the plaques to the outgoing officers.  

10. Correspondence - There was no correspondence. 

11. Comments

- Joe Coogan reported that Forum 82 will be held November 4-5 at the Evergreen State College. It is also planned that during this year's Forum will include the Data Processing Manager Association meeting and luncheon. Three topics that were discussed as possible subjects for Forum 82 were: 1) State data processing management, 2) defining local communication networks, and 3) decision support systems and information center concepts. A ballot will go out with next month's minutes and each person may vote on which subject they would like to see as the Forum 82 theme. Also on the ballot there will be a blank if you have yet another theme that you would like to suggest, please indicate on the ballot what you think would be the appropriate subject and return it to MS. Sunny Schomburg. (Reference the attached ballot for the changed FORUM subjects.)

Joe Coogan also made an announcement regarding Mr. Wl11 Wolf's retirement. It will be at the Columbian Hall on Martin Way. The date will be June 25 which is a Friday. It will start at 5:30 p.m. till whenever. The cost is $7.50 for a single or $10.00 for a couple. The cost includes beer and food, BYOB. Contact Bonnie Stelling, 753-5728, for reservations. 

12. Mr. John Aikin complimented all of the officers and members of the Association for making his year a very pleasant one. Sunny Schomburg then complimented Mr. John Aikin for the fine job he did as Chairman this past year. After a general applause of appreciation, Dr. Aikin adjourned the meeting.

A WAY TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

The shoemaker's children are always barefoot. The preacher's son is the meanest kid in town. EDP internal reports are usually done manually.

Electronic data processing exists to make dull repetitive jobs easier, faster, and more interesting. We in EDP involve ourselves with , automating processes for others, while doing very little about our own needs. - Oh! We buy new equipment and software; but we also follow the axioms that: A consultant is someone who lives at least 30 miles away -- A prophet isn't accepted in his home territory.

There is a real need for DP utilities that increase productivity. Statewide, there is a lot of on board talent more than capable of producing these tools. However, up until the implementation of the WDPSC Shared Utilities Manual it did little good to produce common utility processes. No one outside the developing shop knew about them. Now developed tools can be advertised and used by many state agencies. The Shared Utilities Manual is a giant step in the right direction. However, it is just that: A step.

Washington State needs a couple more steps. We should have a way to discuss and answer needs. We should also have a way to respond to good ideas. Example: Why should we have to keep changing block size in JCL every time we get a disk device with a different track capacity? A hook in JES could dynamically determine, optimum, block size. A lot I of people agree with this idea, but no one does anything about it. 1 ~ There should be a way to analyze and respond to ideas in the EDP community.

The weakness of the Shared Utilities Manual is that it only reflects what has been done. It does not address what should be done or what would be very nice to have done. Perhaps the Manual should have a section that deals with needs and desires. However, a mechanism would still be required to answer the needs. The manual or something like it should also not be limited to WDPSC, but should cross Service Center boundaries.

Currently, utilities are developed due to an agencies special need -- or -- the conscientious off hours work of an individual. Agencies are not in business to develop utility software for the rest of the state. Therefore, the utilities that we have developed are only a fraction of what could be done.

We need to build on what we've started by developing methods to reward agencies and individuals who are willing to add to the power and flexibility of the total state EDP ability. Increased productivity is already occurring; but it can really take off with just a few policy and attitude changes. The Data Processing Authority certainly appears to be a logical choice to act as a catalyst in this area.

HOWARD GLASTETTER,
Dept. of Employment Security