Quantitative knowledge acquisition for expert systems

Brenda L. Belkin, Robert F. Stengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A common problem in the design of expert systems is the definition of rules from data obtained in system operation or simulation. Whilte it is relatively easy to collect data and to log the comments of human operators engaged in experiments, generalizing such information to a set of rules has not previously been a straightforward task. This paper presents a statistical method for generating rule bases from numerical data, motivated by an example based on aircraft navigation with multiple sensors. The specific objective is to design an expert system that selects a satisfactory suite of measurements from a dissimilar, redundant set, given an arbitrary navigation geometry and possible sensor failures. This paper describes the systematic development of a Navigation Sensor Management (NSM) Expert System from Kalman Filter covariance data. The development method invokes two statistical techniques: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the ID3 algorithm. The ANOVA technique indicates whether variations of problem parameters give statistically different covariance results, and the ID3 algorithm identifies the relationships between the problem parameters using probabilistic knowledge extracted from a simulation example set. ANOVA results show that statistically different position accuracies are obtained when different navigation aids are used, the number of navigation aids is changed, the trajectory is varied, or the performance history is altered. By indicating that these four factors significantly affect the decision metric, an appropriate parameter framework was designed, and a simulation example base was created. The example base contained over 900 training examples from nearly 300 simulations. The ID3 algorithm was then applied to the example base, yielding classification "rules" in the form of decision trees. The NSM expert system consists of seventeen decision trees that predict the performance of a specified integrated navigation sensor configuration. The performance of these decision trees was assessed on two arbitrary trajectories, and the performance results are presented using a predictive metric. The test trajectories used to evaluate the system's performance show that the NSM Expert adapts to new situations and provides reasonable estimates of sensor configuration performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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