Acquiring knowledge of knowledge acquisition: A self-study of generic tasks
In this paper we describe an experiment to study the problem solving behavior of a group of knowledge engineers. The subjects are knowledge engineers trained in the Generic Task framework . The study has two aims: (1) to evaluate the degree of consistency among a set of engineers trained in the same high-level framework in order to assure the presence of a consistent methodology within such a group, and (2) to develop methods for studying knowledge engineering activity, which can also be applied to practitioners trained in other paradigms of knowledge engineering. Since such an analysis is exactly the domain of knowledge engineering, we use a knowledge level framework to model the knowledge engineering task. The use of the Design Model of the Generic Task theory  as an analysis framework for the knowledge engineers' problem solving process is motivated and its application demonstrated by in-depth analyses of solutions produced by our subjects. The results of our empirical study and its interpretations as well as methodological questions are discussed. It is concluded that the analysis of the knowledge engineers' task with the Generic Task Design Model provides interesting insights, but it also needs to be refined and complemented with more empirical evidence.
KeywordsGeneric Tasks knowledge engineering methodology models of problem solving
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