Blackboard system

A blackboard system is an artificial intelligence approach based on the blackboard architectural model, [1] [2] [3] [4] where a common knowledge base, the "blackboard", is iteratively updated by a diverse group of specialist knowledge sources, starting with a problem specification and ending with a solution. Each knowledge source updates the blackboard with a partial solution when its internal constraints match the blackboard state. In this way, the specialists work together to solve the problem. The blackboard model was originally designed as a way to handle complex, ill-defined problems, where the solution is the sum of its parts.


The following scenario provides a simple metaphor that gives some insight into how a blackboard functions:

A group of specialists are seated in a room with a large blackboard. They work as a team to brainstorm a solution to a problem, using the blackboard as the workplace for cooperatively developing the solution.

The session begins when the problem specifications are written onto the blackboard. The specialists all watch the blackboard, looking for an opportunity to apply their expertise to the developing solution. When someone writes something on the blackboard that allows another specialist to apply their expertise, the second specialist records their contribution on the blackboard, hopefully enabling other specialists to then apply their expertise. This process of adding contributions to the blackboard continues until the problem has been solved.