The Japanese are ahead of the U.S. in the integration of problem-solving techniques. The JTEC panel discerned at least three reasons for this trend.

Tools Investment

The Japanese have made substantial investments in experimenting with a wide range of technologies, sponsored in part by ICOT. As a result, a large number of industrial researchers have experience with multiple techniques. This enables them to see the logical combinations of techniques to use for a new problem.

Access to Products

Several Japanese companies have developed their own tool sets. This activity gives them the knowledge and access to software at a level which allows deep integration of the software, rather than simple data transfer interfaces.

Artificial Barriers

The U.S. has created artificial barriers between various methodologies due to the rise of many small technology companies. Most companies that are developing applications have relied upon shells developed by these small technology companies. The effect has been to create both technological and commercial barriers to the integration of techniques. This has limited progress in the U.S. to shallow integration.

Published: May 1993; WTEC Hyper-Librarian