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Knowledge Based Systems
in Adaptive Training:
Tailoring Training to the Individual
By Barry Brosch
Introduction to Expert System Shells
Expert System: a type of computer application
program that makes decisions or solves problems in a particular field, such as finance or medicine, by using knowledge and analytical rules defined by experts in the field. Human experts solve problems by using a combination of factual knowledge and reasoning ability. In an expert system, these two essentials are contained in two separate but related components, a knowledge base and an inference engine. The knowledge base provides facts and rules about the subject, and the inference engine provides the reasoning ability that enables the expert system to form conclusions. Expert systems also provide additional tools in the form of user interfaces and explanation facilities. User interfaces, as with any application, enable people to form queries, provide information, and otherwise interact with the system. Explanation facilities, an intriguing part of expert systems, enable the systems to explain or justify their conclusions, and they enable developers to check on the operation of the systems themselves. Expert systems originated in the

1960s; fields in which they are used include chemistry, geology, medicine, banking and investments, and insurance.

Expert system shells, which have now become
sophisticated Knowledge Based System Development Environments, are specialized computer languages specifi-cally designed for developing knowledge-based expert systems. Knowledge based system languages are typically easy to learn, and intended for use by human experts as well as professional computer programmers. Not only are they complete programming languages, they are also fully compliant with all Windows inter-action protocols and are deployable on hard media, in LAN / WAN environ-ments, and on the Inter / Intranet.

The First Computerized Tests Using an Expert System Shell

In 1986, I saw my first expert system shell - 1st Class
Fusion. A brilliant engineer, Will Hapgood, from Raytheon in

Figure 1: A Simple Multiple Choice Test

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