LPA was formed in 1980 to exploit the results emerging from the logic programming research team of Prof. Bob Kowalski at Imperial College, London, which, among others, included Brian D Steel, Clive Spenser and Diane Reeve, all of whom remain with the company to this day. Since then, LPA has continued to develop and market advanced software tools and is a leading supplier of commercial software products and solutions in the areas of Expert Systems and Artificial Intelligence.
LPA's initial product was micro-PROLOG which was the world's first Prolog system for micro-computers and implemented on many small micro-computers at the time. LPA's current software range has evolved and now includes advanced Prolog compiler systems, VisiRule, Flex expert system toolkit, Prolog++, the Flint fuzzy logic toolkit, ProWeb Server and various GUI and data mining tools. These are available on Windows and the Web, and allow developers to build, test and deliver both complete applications or embeddable, intelligent components.
In 2014, LPA announced a major upgrade to the VisiRule run-time and deployment system to better support mobile devices and graphical viewing.
In 2014, LPA and EMDS Consortium announced plans to incorprate VisiRule into EMDS, Ecosystem Management Decision Support, a leading application framework for knowledge-based decision support for environmental analysis at any geographic scale.
In 2011, LPA developed an interactive viewer facility so that end-users could see the VisiRule chart when answering the generated web-based questionnaire.
In 2008, LPA implemented additional automated testing facilities to help validate and audit VisiRule charts and their outcomes.
In 2004, LPA annouced a new graphical charting tool, VisiRule, which lets people draw their decision support systems, rather than have to engage programmers to write code for them.
In 2002, LPA released WebFlex, a web-based version of the expert system toolkit, Flex. This is still being used to deliver online expert systems and advice within many different projects.
In 2000, LPA started two new collaborative projects both funded within the DTI Management of Information program. Frisc was to harness the best experts' skills in fraud detection, and in detecting anomalous claims and new fraud variants, in order to enable insurers to regain control of claims costs. Rems-ST aimed to develop counter-measures to retail staff theft, by harnessing industry expertise with leading-edge AI technology, knowledge management techniques, and internet services. Also, in 2000, LPA commenced work on Forfait, Forest Fire Risk and Hazard Assessment: A Holistic Approach, funded under the CEC IST Programme.
In 1999, LPA released its Agent toolkit and associated TCP/IP library.
In 1998, LPA released DataMite, a Windows-based data mining tool and an associated toolkit.
In 1996, the DTI awarded LPA a Smart award to develop ScaffoldIT, a tool for building dynamic documents and intelligent web sites. In 1998, LPA was awarded a follow-on grant to further develop the tool to generate complex personalised documents such as policy schedules, legal contracts, complex proposals on the Web. The results formed the basis of the ContractExpress product range from Business Integrity Ltd. which is being used by many of the world's leading law firms.
In 1995, the Open University adopted Flex as the basis for, "T396: Artificial Intelligence for Technology". This popular course ran until 2006 and taught AI and Knowledge-based systems to engineers.
In 1993, LPA licensed Flex to ICL as part of their ProcessWise range of process modelling tools. ProcessWise WorkBench was used by many large institutions to model their business processes and workflows. Also in 1993, LPA began STAR, a 3 year DTI-funded collaborative research project with ICRF and LHASA UK in the area of risk analysis and carcinogenicity. Its aim was to take a mixture of different toxicological and related data types of varying degrees of accuracy and draw conclusions about the hazard or risk that it represented.
LPA customers include: InferMed - who have developed AREZZO, a leading-edge decision support tool used to provide decision support to front line clinical specialists, and MACRO; Valdis Krebs from OrgNet - who has developed InFlow, a powerful social network analysis package, PDT who have developed SPECIFY4IT, a Process Engineering for Software Development.
Various academic papers have been published which feature VisiRule and other LPA products covering a wide range of areas from Visual Modeling,
Medical Expert Systems,
Legal Expert Systems,
Decision Making, through to manufacturing and waste management. A full list is available from LPA.
LPA software is also very popular in education throughout the world and forms the basis for many courses in AI, Expert Systems, Knowledge Representation, Decision Support Systems and, of course, Prolog.