Indiana University Bloomington


As noted elsewhere, the mainstream of research at CRCC consists of applying the parallel terraced scan architecture to various microdomains. In this mainstream, there are three lineages, or tracks, of programs: the Copycat line, which works with letter analogies, Bob French's TableTop, which is described beautifully in his book but not on this website (yet), and the Letter Spirit project, which has so far achieved one implementation.

The Copycat lineage consists of two completed projects and one active one: the original Copycat was written by Melanie Mitchell starting in 1983 and culminating in her doctoral work in 1990. Jim Marshall then wrote Metacat to address some of the rigidity of Copycat's understanding of letter analogies; Metacat was finished in 1999 and included (among other enhancements) an episodic memory able to compare and contrast letter analogies.

Letter Spirit was begun with Gary McGraw's implementation of the Examiner module, which attempts to recognize and evaluate letterforms. Gary's work also compared the parallel terraced scan architecture with a more standard neural-net architecture and a symbolic AI program to do the same thing. Gary's work resulted in his doctoral thesis in 1995. John Rehling then adopted the Letter Spirit project, implementing the remaining planned modules (the Drafter, the Ajudicator, and the central Letter Spirit module which calls the other three to get its job done) between 1995 and 2001. The result is a program which can accept several seed letters in a font and design the rest of the font.

Harry Foundalis has completed work on a Bongard problem solver which utilizes an architecture similar to the parallel terraced scan.