The 3-Part Anatomy of an Expert System

Expert systems can be described in three structural components. My description is intentionally simplified. It's also meant to be conceptual. Actual systems may have a more complex makeup, or a different architecture altogether. The Knowledge Base The knowledge base makes the expert system intelligent. It's where the domain-specific expert knowledge is stored. The knowledge is... Continue Reading →

Chaining expert system logic

Each rule in an expert system knowledge base follows a conditional logic approach to reasoning. If a condition is satisfied, then the system makes a deduction. The rules in an expert system's knowledge base can be connected or chained together. This chaining allows the system to make several deductions in sequence. To make this forward-chaining approach... Continue Reading →

Can expert systems outperform humans?

Is an expert system better than a human expert? Sometimes. An expert system can out-reason humans - especially non-expert humans - in a particular domain. If you have a good knowledge base designed to reason well, it won't fail. Depth If the knowledge base contains very deep knowledge resembling advanced expertise, the system will reason like... Continue Reading →

Using expert systems to solve complex problems

Can expert systems solve complex problems? Yes. But they're not born to do it. Humans need to create the knowledge base that will enable them to reason about complex problems. The process is called knowledge engineering. Human experts hold knowledge in their domain of expertise. Knowledge engineers are the ones who acquire this knowledge and... Continue Reading →

Why put experts in machines?

Computers can't do everything humans can do. But they can do some things better than most humans can. Expert systems can't do everything human experts can do. But they can do some things human experts can't. Expert systems can share expert reasoning and guidance easily and cheaply, with many people. Knowledge engineering can be difficult... Continue Reading →

How do expert systems reason?

Expert systems can reason. Well, sort of, anyway. They don't have brains and can't think for themselves. So humans have to program them to emulate or reproduce the outputs of human reasoning in a different way. The expert systems I work on reason through the application of rules. The rules make the system reason on the... Continue Reading →

What do expert systems do?

Expert systems are technology-based tools that help to solve problems. Knowledge engineering is the process of capturing intelligence from human experts so that it can be used by the expert system for its reasoning. Human itelligence is put into an artificial machine to make the system an expert in a specific domain. Of course, this intelligent... Continue Reading →

The Value Proposition for Expert Systems

The value proposition for expert systems is simple. Capture the knowledge and reasoning from subject matter experts in a given domain and make it available to non-expert users through a technology-based system. Dealing with an expert system isn't the same as dealing with a human expert. Computers have no common sense. They are only capable of... Continue Reading →

Business Cases for Expert Systems

What is the business case for building an expert system? Let's start with the costs. Someone has to create the knowlege base for the expert system. Knowledge engineering can be slow, tedious, complicated and expensive. The expert system will require the technology to serve as the platform. Someone will have to provide the ongoing support for... Continue Reading →

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