An Expert System – Computer Application Essay Sample

An Expert System – Computer Application Pages
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Using a named man-machine system of your choice describe five important operational characteristics that would serve as a checklist for the designer of the system. Each characteristic must be considered in terms of degree of importance for the system under scrutiny.

ANSWER

EXPERT SYSTEM

An expert system is a computer application that solves complicated problems that would otherwise require extensive human expertise. To do so, it simulates the human reasoning process by applying specific knowledge and interfaces. This report explained on the expert system for decision making of giving the best solution to solve the PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant) problems.

It represents the latest evolution of the top-down artificial intelligence thinking in which the computer is used to assist or even replace human decision makers.

Expert systems have a very wide potential application to many areas of human endeavor in which expertise is important.

Areas of application include:

* Medical diagnosis

* Taxation planning

* Product pricing

Characteristics

a) The most obvious feature of an expert system is that it operates as an interactive system that responds to questions, asks for clarifications, makes recommendations and generally aids the decision-making process. To a user, this interactive interface is what would distinguish an expert system from any ordinary computer tool. Behind this interface lie other characteristics that may not be immediately obvious to a person using the tool.

b) Expert system tools have the ability to store and sift through significant amounts of knowledge. There are various mechanisms used in the storage and retrieval of knowledge, some of which shall be discussed in the next section. An expert system needs a large knowledge base in order to be able to tackle any kind of problem that may arise within its area of expertise.

c) Not only must such a system be able to store the available knowledge, but it must also support mechanisms to expand and improve the knowledge base on a continuing basis. Every specialized field is always in a state of flux, with something new being discovered all the time. In order to keep the expert system up-to-date, it is necessary to leave the knowledge base open-ended so that new pieces of information can be added at any time, without need for significant changes in the structure of the system.

d) An expert system must have the capability to make logical inferences based on the knowledge stored. This is where the simple reasoning mechanisms used in expert systems come into play. This is what makes an expert system tick. A knowledge base, without any means of exploiting the knowledge stored, is useless. This would be analogous to learning all the words in a new language, without knowing how to combine those words to form a meaningful sentence.

e) A feature somewhat unique to expert systems is that a particular system caters to a relatively narrow area of specialization. Expert systems are very domain-specific. A medical expert system cannot be used to find faults in the design of an electrical circuit. This focus on small domains is more a result of technological limitations than anything else. As discussed earlier, the quality of advice offered by an expert system is dependent on the amount of knowledge stored. As the scope of an expert system is widened, its knowledge base needs to be expanded. The methodologies available today limit the amount of knowledge that can be stored and retrieved in reasonable amounts of time. So, the constraints set by existing technology make it necessary to build expert systems that cater to relatively narrow domains.

f) The applications best suited for expert systems are those dealing with expert heuristics for solving problems. Any field in which problems can be solved using purely numerical techniques, within reasonable periods of time, is not a suitable choice for the domain of an expert system. Building an expert system for such a field cannot be justified as there would be no advantage in doing so.

g) Expert systems have become increasingly popular because of their specialization, albeit in a narrow field. The small size of the domain makes encoding and storing the domain-specific knowledge an economic process. Also, as specialists in many areas are scarce, and the cost of consulting them is high, an expert system catering to any of those areas can be considered to be a useful and cost-effective alternative, in the long run.

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