Building expert systems: cognitive emulation.

Slatter, Philip Edward (1987). Building expert systems: cognitive emulation. MPhil thesis The Open University.



Chapter 1 briefly introduces the concept of cognitive emulation, and outlines its current status. Chapter 2 reviews psychological research on human expert thinking. First, the study of expert thinking is placed in the context of modern cognitive psychology. Next, the principal methods and techniques employed by psychologists examining expert cognition are examined. The remainder of the chapter is given over to a review of the published literature on the nature and development of human expertise. Chapter 3 reviews the main arguments for and against cognitive emulation in expert system design. The tentative conclusion reached is that a significant degree of emulation is inevitable, but that a pure, unselective strategy of emulation is neither realistic nor desirable. Chapter 4 examines the prospects for cognitive emulation from a more pragmatic angle. Several factors are identified that represent constraints on the usefulness of a cognitive approach. However, a second set of factors is identified which should facilitate an emulation strategy - especially in the longer term. Some guidance is given on when to seriously consider adopting an emulation strategy. Chapter 5 presents a critical survey of expert system research that has already addressed the emulation issue. Six basic approaches to cognitive emulation are distinguished and evaluated. This helps draw out in more detail the implications of an emulation strategy for knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation and system architecture. The chapter concludes by discussing the issues that arise when different approaches to emulation are combined. Some guidance is offered on how this might be achieved. Chapter 6 summarizes the main themes and issues to have emerged, the design advice contained in the thesis, and the original contributions made by the thesis.

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