Madeleine – MARPLE

Whilst working on Plan B, I have built up a cache of fairly detailed knowledge about 3 people and 4 events of interest. This is the start of a phase in which I expect to build up more of these detailed records, with cross-linking and cross-searching capability, thus easing the strain on my brain and my memory.

Clearly, I need a storage system for this, and my initial thought was to simply rip off Operation Grange with its HOLMES 2, and to call mine HOLMES 3. The change in number was going to reflect that the system had been upgraded.

I quickly decided that HOLMES 3 was totally the wrong name for my new system.

First, HOMES 2 fulfils various admin functions, such as preparing documentation for court and tracking exhibits in and out. My system won’t be doing anything like that.

Second, HOLMES 2 has an artificial intelligence component. Mine has none. The intelligence is 100% human.

Third, HOLMES 2 is loaded with thousands of statements and thousands of pieces of information that are not in the public domain.

So calling my system HOLMES 3, and implying it models HOLMES 2 but is better would have been a mistake.

On that basis, I turned to other famous fictional detectives beloved of the British.

The first name that sprang to mind was POIROT, but that quickly bit the dust for two reasons. First, Poirot was Belgian, and I wanted British. Second, try making the acronym POIROT resolve into anything meaningful.

Therefore I have alighted on MARPLE. I assume I do not have to explain Miss Marple.

A check on acronyms shows that the nearest is Marple Newton, used by a school in the UK and another in the US.

Next was making MARPLE resolve to something vaguely meaningful. Please bear in mind that HOLMES stands for Home Office Large Major Enquiry System. So to get HOLMES to work, they had to bung in a superfluous ‘Large’.

MARPLE stands for Madeleine Advanced Reconstruction Project – Luz Enhanced.

The first part should be obvious. The ‘Luz Enhanced’ refers to the key ingredient that MARPLE has that is missing from the PJ knowledge base, the Operation Grange knowledge base, HOLMES, and previous McCann PI efforts, namely a deep knowledge of Luz and how Luz worked in 2007.

So here is what is rattling around in my brain at the moment. Can I get ‘Luz Enhanced’ into Operation Grange before OG shuts down? Can I get ‘Luz Enhanced’ into a fresh McCann PI initiative?

Plan B is evolving rapidly.


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