Corticon Awarded Patent for Unique Business Rules Engine Design

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Corticon’s innovative approach yields significant performance and scalability advantages.

US patent 7,565,642 covers Corticon’s invention of generating the most optimal rule processing logic for a given set of rules, and supporting a variety of target execution environments.

Corticon Technologies (, a leader in Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS), adds to its patent portfolio US patent 7,565,642, for its innovative approach to business rules execution. Corticon, long recognized for its breakthrough technology in model-driven rules solutions, continues to earn increasing protection of its intellectual property and industry praise for delivering solutions with superior agility and business control.

This latest patent recognizes Corticon’s uniquely elegant and effective Business Rules Engine architecture. In the Corticon BRMS, business rules are modeled, analyzed, and tested in a spreadsheet-like authoring environment that is both easy-to-use and powerful (already protected under US patent 7,020,869). Corticon then generates optimized executable decision services so that run-time execution of the rule sets is exceptionally fast and scalable. Corticon’s disruptive technology for externalizing business rule logic is a fundamental part of Services Oriented Architectures (SOA), enabling enterprises to centrally manage operational decisions as corporate assets, and automating business policies for greater consistency, reusability, and agility.

Traditional inferencing business rules engines employ various pattern matching algorithms and logical dependency graphs to dynamically determine the rule processing sequence of a set of rules. By their very nature, rules often have interdependencies, which create logical conflicts, and can result in non-deterministic behaviors in these traditional rule engines. In an attempt to address this exposure, inference engines typically offer a dynamic conflict resolution technique to produce more deterministic engine behavior, but this technique forces an iterative one-rule-at-a-time execution architecture which has an inherent performance bottleneck. In the case of RETE pattern matching algorithm, this bottleneck is known as the “RETE wall”, which describes the phenomenon of expontential degradation of engine performance with increasing quantity or complexity of rules and data.

US patent 7,565,642 covers Corticon’s invention of generating the most optimal rule processing logic for a given set of rules, and supporting a variety of target execution environments. To achieve this, the system uses a rule dependency graph during deployment. And unlike traditional inference engines, the system has the ability to natively account for logical overrides and thus avoid the complex machinations employed by inference engines to perform dynamic conflict resolution. Logical overrides are a business-friendly rule modeling concept which allow the rule author to explicitly and declaratively resolve logical conflicts, simplifying the resolution of rule interactions and enabling non- technical personnel to manage the business rules.

Corticon’s “Rule Engine” patent, originally filed in August 2002, awards 20 claims covering the following inventions:

  •     A truly model-driven BRMS

Rule models are not tightly coupled to the execution engine, which means that the same rule model can be deployed to multiple execution engines. Futhermore, since the Corticon rule expression language is a high-level language which is not tightly coupled to and constrained by any target engine language, it allows for modeling of highly sophisticated rules by non-programmers.

  •     Design-time conflict resolution

Because Corticon optimizes rule execution logic during deployment, Corticon’s Business Rules Engine scales linearly with increasing size and/or complexity of rules and data.

  •     Single-pass rule execution for the large majority of business rule sets

Traditional rules engines force a highly iterative processing for all rule sets even though, in large majority of cases, such iterative processing is logically unnecessary. The Corticon engine is smart enough to only iterate when absolutely necessary. This means that a large majority of rule sets can be processed in a single-pass, streamlining execution performance.

  •     Multi-pass rule execution for “inferencing” business rule sets

Corticon’s BRMS can also handle problems requiring iterative, recursive processing. This allows Corticon to solve “inferencing” type problems without taking the architectural hit of a traditional inference engine.

  •     Direct support for logical rule overrides

Corticon’s declarative approach to logical overrides is much more intuitive and direct than the inferencing engine approach of rule priorities and mutually exclusive conditions. The approach also enables the optimizing rule compiler to account for such overrides during deployment and thus avoid the performance hit of dynamic conflict resolution.

  •     Rule logic can operate on multiple data records concurrently

Particularly important with increasing data size, Corticon’s ability to process multiple data records concurrently enables linear performance scalability. Traditional inferencing engines process one activated rule at time and are vulnerable to performance bottlenecks.

Pedram Abrari, Co-Founder of Corticon, and Co-Inventor of record on this patent with Co-Founder Eric Moore states, “It is satisfying that Corticon has been awarded another patent and is being recognized for its significant innovation in the Business Rules software industry. Corticon turned the BRMS space on its head by challenging conventional wisdom about how to author and deploy business rules. We put the emphasis on rule modeling and leveraged our groundbreaking innovations in this area to produce one of the highest performing and most scalable rule engines in the market today. ”

About Corticon

Corticon Technologies delivers Business Rules Management solutions that unleash “The Power of DecisionsTM”, as enterprise assets. Many of the world’s most successful organizations rely on Corticon to discover, model, execute and improve operational decisions (and associated business rules) within their enterprise systems. Recognized as a leading business rules vendor by industry analysts and thought leaders, Corticon’s patented Business Rules Management System is the only solution with a model-driven design environment that guarantees the consistent, efficient and reliable execution of a company’s business rules and decisions. Corticon is a privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, California, with European headquarters in The Netherlands, worldwide distribution through local Corticon offices, and an extensive partner network. Corticon’s products are in use today at many of the world’s largest banks, insurance companies, media companies, telecommunication providers and government organizations, collectively automating millions of decisions per day.


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Samira Abrari
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