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BBC - Building Business Capability

2014 Presentation Abstracts

Room: Atlantic 2


Practical Techniques for Resolving Conflicts Among Business Rules


Speaker Photo: Dr. Jacob Feldman

Dr. Jacob Feldman

Founder / CTO, OpenRules, Inc.


    Modern rules and decisions management systems provide effective mechanisms for modeling, managing and execution of business decision models. However, building real-world decision models, business analysts frequently face complex issues related to diagnostic and resolution of business rule conflicts. Some systems can effectively verify decision model consistency and diagnose rule conflicts. However, contradictory rules occur in normal business situations, and maintaining rules with exceptions is a very typical example. Today it mainly remains a responsibility of users to represent rules in such a way that allows them to avoid conflicts. As a result, the number of rules grows exponentially making their maintenance a real problem. Is it possible to automatically resolve rule conflicts?

    In this presentation we will discuss different techniques for automatic resolution of conflicts among business rules. We will consider classical, “strict”, rules and “defeasible” rules that actually can be defeated by other rules. We will consider different representations of superiority relations among rules when one rule may override the conclusion of another rule. We will describe practical examples of contradictory rules from financial and other business domains. And finally we will demonstrate how a well-known theory of the “defeasible reasoning” can be incorporated into the modern Business Rules Management systems delivering practical solutions for this important problem.

    Learning Objectives:

    • How to represent and maintain business rules with conflicts
    • How to define superiority relationships among rule
    • How a BRMS can resolve rules conflicts


    Dr. Jacob Feldman

    Dr. Jacob Feldman is the CTO of OpenRules, Inc., a NJ corporation that created and maintains a highly popular Open Source Business Rules and Decision Management System commonly known as "OpenRules". He has extensive experience in development of decision support software using business rules, optimization, and machine learning technologies for real-world mission-critical applications. He is a frequent presenter at the major business rules events and a contributor to and other Decision Management social forums. Jacob is also a Specification and Maintenance Lead for the JCP standard JSR-331.

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