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Expert Systems are used in all sectors of organizations to help aid users with their work

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Expert Systems Amirah Nosimohomed Business Information Technology, Swansea Institute of Higher Education ABSTRACT Expert systems are used in all sectors of organizations to help aid users with their work. This paper will be giving a brief introduction to expert systems and will be looking back at the history of expert systems. This paper will also look at the characteristics of expert systems and what they are used for. The advantages and disadvantages of expert systems will also be discussed in this paper. Keywords: Expert Systems, Artificial Intelligence, knowledge based systems, decision support systems [1] Introduction Expert systems are programs that provide the type of advice that would be expected from a human expert. It is also known as a knowledge based system. Expert systems are able to store and manipulate knowledge so that they can help a user solve a problem or make a decision. Expert systems technology derives from the research discipline of Artificial Intelligence (AI): It is said by Jackson (1998, pg2) "Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science concerned with the design and implementation of programs which are capable of emulating human cognitive skills such as problem solving, visual perception and language understanding" The main features of expert systems are that it is it is limited to a specific domain; it is typically rule based which means that users of the expert system will have to type commands and rules for the expert system to respond. It can also reason with certain data, for example if the expert system thinks that the data given is incorrect it can query the data and information that it has been given. It delivers advice, for example an expert system can give advice to a surgeon about the best method in carrying out complicated operations. Typical tasks for and expert system involve; The interpretation of data such as solar signals, diagnosis of malfunction such as equipment faults or human diseases, structural analysis of complex objects such as chemical compounds, configuration of complex objects such as computer systems, planning of sequences of actions such as what might be performed by robots. ...read more.


However, it is now widely accepted that the user interface can make a critical difference in the perceived utility of a system regardless of the system's performance, which is said by (Beynon et al 2002) Explaining Solutions The whole question of how to help a user understand the structure and function of some complex piece of software relates to the comparatively new field of human/computer interaction, which is emerging from an intersection of AI, engineering, psychology and ergonomics. The contribution of expert system researches to date has been to place a high priority upon the accountability of programs. Explanations of expert systems behaviour are important for a number of reasons: Users of the system need to satisfy themselves that the programs conclusions are correct for their particular case. Knowledge Engineers need some way to know that the knowledge that is being applied properly even as the prototype is being built. Domain Expert need to see a trace of the way in which their knowledge is being applied in order to judge whether knowledge is proceeding successfully. Managers of expert technology, who may end up being responsible for a program decision, need to satisfy themselves that a systems mode of reasoning is applicable to their domain. Different problem solving methods tend to perform at a similar level provided they command the same knowledge. The differences in overall performance between the 4 evaluated programs are relatively small and statistically insignificant. However, they are significant when looking at particular details of problem solving results. (Castillo et al 1999). [5] Expert System Shell "An expert system shell is a special software program that allows a user to build an expert system without having to learn a programming language" Parker (2001 pg IS17). Expert system shells provide a straightforward user interface, both for the expert to enter the facts and rules, and for the end user to use the complex expert system to solve a problem. ...read more.


However this can mainly be only used in major firms, as expert systems are extremely expensive to build. Even through building an expert system is expensive and gathering the information is time consuming, expert systems have saved firms a lot of money as human experts are difficult to find. It can also be expensive to pay these human expert in hours and to do one task normally requires more than one human expert. Furthermore copies of experts systems can easily be made but training new human experts is time consuming and expensive. [8] Conclusion At the very beginning nobody thought that it was possible to have an expert system without the participation of a human expert. However, today this is possible based on data or experience. Expert systems are widely used and some firms rely greatly on them. Although most of the existing expert systems were born from the joint work of human experts and knowledge engineers. Expert system have greatly developed over the years and have been designed so that they are easier to build and develop. There are now even software programs such as CLIPS, which has a friendly user interface which allows the user to build an expert system without having to know the complex programming language. Expert systems overall performance depends on the knowledge it can bring to bear on a problem to be solved. The quality of internal data processing in turn depends upon knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation and reasoning strategy, performance also depends upon the quality of data input. In the future expert systems can be expected to be faster, easier and have more complex knowledge. It should also be able to create systems with knowledge of multiple subjects. As with most programs expert systems have both advantages and disadvantages. Even though expert systems are expensive and time consuming to build, in the long run the can save a business a lot of money as they are knowledge based and can be effectively used for real world problems. ...read more.

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