Expert Systems for Knowledge Engineering: Modes of Development

  • Glynn Harmon


The problems of human-computer interface design will be confronted increasingly by human knowledge engineers-those who acquire and incorporate the knowledge of domain experts and other users into expert or knowledge-based systems. Knowledge engineers thus occupy a central role in integrating friendly use with user-friendly systems. But knowledge engineering expertise itself is already targeted for expert system development.

The work of the knowledge engineer can be described in six phases: selection of appropriate problem; development of prototype; development of complete expert system; evaluation; integration of system; and maintenance. Increasingly, more emphasis is being placed on rigorous, expert-driven formulations of problems. A knowledge engineer expert system could be developed in a top-down manner, from scratch, without much initial recourse to the existing system infrastructure. Here, knowledge engineering would be mapped upon itself as the key technology. In contrast, the system could be developed in an evolutionary, bottom-up manner so as to integrate previously developed tools. Top-down approaches are expected to be used increasingly, as they have been in structured software design.

This paper contrasts these alternative modes of expert system development, and reports on engineering efforts which use these contrasting approaches. Future designs and evaluations of human-computer interfaces are expected to be based largely on criteria used to design and evaluate the performance of knowledge engineering and expert system interfaces.


Expert System Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Engineering Knowledge Engineer Incremental Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glynn Harmon
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Library and Information ScienceThe University of TexasAustinUSA

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