Constructionist design methodology

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Constructionist Design Methodology[edit]

It is an approach for building highly modular systems of many interacting components. CDM’s strength lies in simplifying the model of complex, multi functional systems that require architectural evolution of tangled data flow and control hierarchies.


The Constructionist Design Methodology (CDM) was developed by artificial intelligence (AI) researcher Kristinn R. Thórisson and his students at Columbia University and Reykjavik University for use in the development of cognitive robotics, communicative humanoids and broad AI systems. The creation of such systems requires integration of a large number of functionalities that must be carefully coordinated to achieve coherent system behavior.

CDM is based on iterative design steps that lead to the creation of a network of named interacting modules, communicating via explicitly typed streams and discrete messages. CDM has been used in the creation of many systems including robotics, facial animation, large-scale simulation and virtual humans. One of the first systems was MIRAGE, a simulated human in an augmented-reality environment that could interact with people through speech and gesture.[citation needed]

About the Creator[edit]

Dr. Kristinn R. Thórisson is an Icelandic Artificial Intelligence researcher, founder of the Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines (IIIM) and co-founder and former co-director of CADIA: Center for Analysis and Design of Intelligent Agents. Thórisson is one of the leading proponents of artificial intelligence systems integration. He is a proponent of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and has proposed a new methodology for achieving artificial general intelligence.


The CDM approach is described in an online semi-tutorial format, and in an article published in A.I. magazine, see Thórisson et al. 2004.

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