2. What is an expert system

An expert system is an application that seeks to mimic the knowledge and experience of a human expert. An expert system is designed to provide reasonable answers when given a set of conditions about the problem in hand.

Each organisation tends to have experts that can address themselves to their specialist subject. It often takes many years of experience and knowledge to become an expert in something.

For example, a design engineer may be an expert in designing car parts using CAD - they know the capabilities of the materials available and they know what is possible.

There are experts in all types of fields

  • Medical specialists
  • Financial services
  • Engineering designers
  • Repair technicians

They all tend to work in the same way, namely

  • Someone comes along and asks them advice about a problem within their specialty.
  • The expert asks a number of questions to help them formulate an answer.
  • The dialogue continues until the expert can offer one or more solutions to the problem.
  • They may also be able to prioritise the solutions in terms of their practicality or other factor such as cost / benefit.

An expert systems seeks to copy this capability using a computer system.


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