Artificial Intelligence Review

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 67-110

First online:

Truth maintenance systems and their application for verifying Expert System Knowledge Bases

  • Neli P. ZlatarevaAffiliated withCentre for Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence, Department of Computer Science, Concordia University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Truth maintenance systems (TMSs) were introduced more than ten years ago, but recently there is an explosion of interest in them and their possible applications in different areas. In this paper we discuss truth maintenance from three perspectives:
  • · Truth maintenance as a data base management facility, which was in fact the original intention of the TMS.

  • · Truth maintenance as an inference facility, which provides a way to extend the role of the TMS in solving problems.

  • · Truth maintenance as a verification facility, which illustrates a new and promising application of TMSs in the area of expert systems design.

This paper is not intended to provide a complete survey on TMSs, rather it aims to present the basic ideas and functionality of TMS, and to show how different kinds of TMS can be used as a meta-environment for testing Expert System Knowledge Bases, represented as sets of production rules, for anomalies.

The paper is addressed to two groups of readers: those who are looking for an introductory survey on TMSs, and those who are interested in non-conventional techniques for Expert System Knowledge Base verification.

Key Words

Knowledge-based Systems Verification of Rule-based Systems Nonmonotonic Reasoning Belief Revision Expert Systems Design