Understanding the Lichen Component

Lichen is a free/libre/open source auxiliary component that provides any platform an efficient means of access to trusted algorithms maintained by any authority. This versatile component performs a very narrow set of functions, but with enormous effect. It enhances the efficiency and scope of any solution that depends upon externally-controlled rules.

Any solution can be set up to interact natively with rules expressed in Xalgo on the Internet. The Lichen component is not a requirement. Yet under its permissive free/libre/open source licensing, and adaptable design, Lichen offers a rapid flexible platform-agnostic path to algorithmic commerce for both end users and solution providers.

Lichen operates through the API of any e-commerce, e-forms or e-payment solution, for any settlement method, in support of online, mobile, voice or in-store transactions. It can also enhance and co-exist with any cloud-base rules automation platform or service. In each case, the buyer or seller determine what essential data about their structured but not-yet-executed purchase or sales order may be provided to Lichen, which uses this available data to find and load context-relevant algorithms which have been published to the Internet. The more data is shared with Lichen by users, the more extensive the IoR discovery and filtering process can be. Lichen applies all selected algorithms to a copy of the transaction data. Within seconds it displays immediate summary results, and provides users the ability to step into three levels of greater documentation about each applied rule.

It remains up to users to accept these “Lichenized” results in whole or in part, and they always remain entitled to remove certain of the found rules. If the transacting parties understand and agree to the results, each can individually activate Lichen to produce and store an immutable and encrypted record of the applied transformations at the time of purchase, data which can also be used to support their automated book-keeping and auditing. Over time if Lichen earns the trust of buyers and sellers through consistent, accurate performance, these user can choose to copy its results directly into purchase or sales order solutions that support functional integration.

Lichen embodies a set of memory-resident tables conformant with UBL (Universal Business Language; ISO/IEC 19845:2015) to supplement sales orders, purchase orders and other business documents. Conformance with UBL makes data interchange more seamless, reliable and auditable across all transaction contexts (B2C, B2B, B2G, G2C and P2P). A standards-based data structure, together with comprehensive disclosure control, enables fully scalable analysis that would be otherwise impractical. This auxiliary component is designed to perform a very narrow set of tasks, but it can bring pivotal change to widely differing realms of commerce.

Xalgorithms Alliance has developed and as of mid-2016 began distributing “alpha”-class v0.x prototype software for the Lichen component, which can be installed on any device and/or integrated into any solution. The developer team hopes that this early implementation will receive the critical peer review required if this initiative is to get started on a solid base. Since business rules are separated from processing logic, Lichen will remain stable when rules and technologies are updated. And rules and technologies can remain stable when Lichen is updated.

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