Configuration is a complex task generally involving varying measures of constraint satisfaction, optimization, and the management of soft constraints. Although many successful systems have been developed, these are often difficult to maintain and to generalize in rapidly changing domains. In this paper, we consider building intelligent knowledge-based systems with maintainability well to the fore in our requirements for such systems. We introduce two case studies: the initial proof of concept, which was in the domain of computer configuration, and a further field-tested study, the configuration of compressors. Central to our approach is the use of the proof planning technique, and the clean separation of different kinds of knowledge: factual, heuristic, and strategic.
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