At 02:32 PM 9/13/01 -0400, Bagotronix Tech Support wrote:
>My thoughts on the autorouter.  Interesting that Abdul thinks the autorouter
>is old technology.

So does Protel. I don't know whether or not I first heard the term "old 
technology" applied to the router from one of the Protel officers from 
Australia or I made it up myself, but, for sure, Protel agrees with this 
point. Sometimes the marketing people don't emphasise it, to be sure, but 
that's how they are trained.... We were told more than a year ago that 
Protel was devoting major resources to rewriting the router (not just 
patching it), and we have reason to believe that we will see the fruit of 
that soon. "Fourth quarter this year" was mentioned. Obviously, Protel is 
not nailed to that, but they are quite aware that upgrade is, if not 
overdue, rapidly becoming so.

>   The router is based on neural net technology from the
>Neurorouter company that Protel acquired several years ago.  Neural nets are
>AI, and AI is the future, right?  ;-)

You believed that hype?

The initial writing of the Neurorouter may have involved some simulation of 
"neural nets," but true neural nets are a hardware matter. Does the router 
learn from its mistakes? I don't think so!

>The autorouter is astoundingly fast.  It definitely does not always obey the
>rules, however.  I suppose this comes with the AI territory.  After all, one
>of the characteristics of AI is to selectively ignore rules which prevent
>achievement of the goals, if the goals cannot be achieved by strict
>compliance with the rules (see Asimov's three rules of robotics).

That *would* be a characteristic of true AI, more or less, though rules 
would be given weight and some rules could not be disregarded at all, 
somewhat like the Asimov robot's prime rule.

>   I wish
>the autorouter was smarter about when it is really necessary to disobey the
>rules, and which rules carry the least adverse consequences of violation.

The autorouter has very little intelligence like this. It does disregard 
certain rules, i.e., it will create some kinds of violations, and will 
remove them if it can, but I would not call that judgement.

By the way, dear readers, please do not, posting to this list, 
automatically quote everything at the end of your post. It is, quite 
simply, unnecessary, since posts are threaded and anyone can go back if 
they wish, and I think some of us only do it out of habit and because our 
mail program is set to automatically quote. I prefer, if my response needs 
quotation in some sense -- I do like posts to have context included to a 
degree -- to have quotation first and then response, which is a *lot* 
easier to read -- otherwise I'll delete it all. In my opinion, the latter 
is better than simply leaving the original material -- sometimes nested 
many posts deep -- at the end.

Of course, if the list thinks it better to leave the material at the end, 
I'll gladly start to leave it myself. Why bother?

(Some newsgroups automatically reject any posts with more quoted material 
than original.... It's an old rule but remains a good one.)

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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