|Hermann von Hasseln, of DaimlerChrysler in
Stuttgart, then presented the first application talk describing DELFI - The Central
Service Hotline for Mercedes Benz Dealerships. This is a global system that provides
support 24x7 for Mercedes dealerships and is an impressive example of how CBR systems are
able to scale up to support large real world problems.
|Tinky Bart, of Tote-m Business Architects in
Amsterdam described the implementation and delivery of a case-based knowledge
management system at Nuon (a Dutch utility company). This talk was very interesting
because it emphasised the organisational barriers that had to be overcome to make the
|After an excellent lunch (every lunch and dinner was
included in the registration fee and they were all great "all you can eat"
buffets - representing really good value for money and heaven for starving CBR
students), the afternoon session focused on e-commerce CBR applications. Peter Grimm, of
Quoka Lampertheim described Intelligent Online Advertising by Quoka with CBR. Quoka is an online market-place, where
people can bring goods and services to sell and others can come to buy. It combines
features from auction sites like eBay with online shopping malls. CBR is used by Quoka to
parse a users free-form query into a database query. Currently their system has 1.2
million items in its database and they predict 30 million by the end of 1999.
Download the presentation (182KB pdf)
|Alex Ryan of IMS Dublin then described
the successful Hooke and MacDonald
Property Letting System from Dublin. This is a deceptively simple online system that helps
people find rented accommodation in Dublin. The simple advantage of CBR for online product
selection is that you are always given the closest match to your query, instead of "Sorry,
we have no items that match your request". This is a much more realistic selling
model since typically you will not find a product that exactly meets all your
requirements. You're going to see a lot more of this sort of product on the web in the
years to come. Interestingly Alex also described the intangible benefits that Hooke &
MacDonald have reaped by being the first to go online with this sort of service.
|The day was rounded off by a very
thoughtful presentation from Brigitte Bartsch-Spörl who was able to share her
accumulated wisdom from being a pioneer CBR consultant. In particular she focused on the
organisational and people issues essential to any CBR project and advised us not to
concentrate early project efforts on tool selection.
Download Brigitte's presentation (31KB pdf)
It was clear from these presentations and several others later in the
conference that CBR is now a mature technology. People are now concentrating on business
process matters, organisational issues and methodology rather than being concerned with
the technology per se.
The day then concluded with the conference reception
and more than a few good German beers!