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Chapter 7: Expert Systems

and Artificial Intelligence


Decision Support Systems in the
21st Century, 2nd Edition
by George M. Marakas
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition 2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 1

7-1: The Concept of Expertise


Expertise: extensive knowledge in a narrow
field
Expert systems: a computer application that
employs a set of rules based on human
knowledge to solve problems that require
human expertise
Artificial Intelligence: practical mechanisms
that enable computers to simulate the
reasoning process
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 2

7-2: The Intelligence of Artificial Intelligence


How do people reason?
Categorization
Specific Rules
Heuristics
Past Experience
Expectations

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 3

How Do Computers Reason?


Rule-based reasoning: IF-THEN statements
represent knowledge encoded as rules
Frames: representations of stereotyped
situations that are typical of some category
Case-based reasoning: adapting previous
solutions to a current problem
Pattern recognition: detecting sounds, shapes
or long sequences
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 4

Other Forms of AI
Machine learning neural networks and
genetic algorithms
Automatic programming mechanisms that
generate a program to do a specific task
(allows non-programmers to program)
Artificial life attempts to recreate biological
phenomena within computer-based systems

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 5

7-3: The Concept and Structure of Expert Systems


Basic structure of an ES follows the generic
structure of a DSS
The knowledge base is specific to a particular
problem domain associated with the ES
The main difference between an ES and DSS
is that the ES contains knowledge acquired
from experts in the application domain

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 6

Common Expert System Architecture


Knowledge
Engineer

User

Organization
Systems
Interface

User
Interface

KE
Interface

Inference
Engine

KE
Tool Kit

Knowledge
Base

User Environment

Development Environment

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 7

The User Interface in an ES


Design of the UI focuses on human concerns
such as ease of use, reliability and reduction
of fatigue
Design should allow for a variety of methods
of interaction (input, control and query)
Mechanisms include touch screen, keypad,
light pens, voice command, hot keys

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 8

The Knowledge Base


Contains the domain-specific knowledge
acquired from the domain experts
Can consist of object descriptions, problemsolving behaviors, constraints, heuristics and
uncertainties
The success of an ES relies on the
completeness and accuracy of its knowledge
base
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 9

The Inference Engine


Here, the knowledge is put to use to produce
solutions
The engine is capable of performing
deduction or inference based on rules or facts
Also capable of using inexact or fuzzy
reasoning based on probability or pattern
matching

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 10

The Inference Control Cycle


Three steps characterize a cycle:
1. Match rules with given facts
2. Select the rule that is to be executed
3. Execute the rule by adding the deduced
fact to the working memory

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 11

Chaining
Simple methods used by most inference
engines to produce a line of reasoning
Forward chaining: the engine begins with the
initial content of the workspace and proceeds
toward a final conclusion
Backward chaining: the engine starts with a
goal and finds knowledge to support that goal

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 12

Forward Chaining Example


Suppose we have three rules:
R1: If A and B then D
R2: If B then C
R3: If C and D then E
If facts A and B are present, we infer D from R1
and infer C from R2. With D and C inferred,
we now infer E from R3.
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 13

Backward Chaining Example


The same three rules:
R1: If A and B then D
R2: If B then C
R3: If C and D then E
If E is known, then R3 implies C and D are true.
R2 thus implies B is true (from C) and R1
implies A and B are true (from D).
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 14

7-4: Designing and Building Expert Systems


Expert System Shells: generic systems that
contain reasoning mechanisms but not the
problem-specific knowledge
Early shells were cumbersome but still
allowed the user to avoid having to
completely program the system from scratch
Modern shells contain two primary modules: a
rule set builder and an inference engine
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 15

Building an Expert System


An early step is to identify the type of tasks
(interpretation, prediction, monitoring, etc.)
the system will perform
Another important step is choosing the
experts who will contribute knowledge: It is
common for one or more of these experts to
be part of the development team
Unlike more general information systems
design projects, the software tools and
hardware platform are selected very early
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 16

7-5: Evaluating the Benefits of Expert Systems


Some major benefits:
1. Increased timeliness in decision making
2. Increased productivity of experts
3. Improved consistency in decisions
4. Improved understanding
5. Improved management of uncertainty
6. Formalization of knowledge
Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition
2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 17

Limitations Associated With ES


One important limitation is that expertise is
difficult to extract and encode.
Another is that human experts adapt naturally
but an ES must be recoded.
Further, human experts better recognize
when a problem is outside the knowledge
domain, but an ES may just keep working

Marakas: Decision Support Systems, 2nd Edition


2003, Prentice-Hall

Chapter 7 - 18