Geospatial expert systems

Tony Moore

The division of computational science that has come to be known as expert
systems (ES) has its origins in the broader discipline of artificial intelligence
(AI), where it still resides. Put very simply, the broad aim of artificial
intelligence is to simulate human reasoning (Laurini and Thompson, 1992).
Expert systems are the most mature products to emerge from this field (Raggad,
1996), dating back to the mid-1960s. Since that time, when researchers at
Stanford University developed a program that used chemical expert knowledge
to automatically deduce molecular structure (Durkin, 1996), a plethora of
definitions for the emergent technology have been put forward. The following
gives an indication of how the use of expert systems has expanded to encompass
nearly every scientific discipline in that time (Cress and Diesler, 1990).
‘Expert systems are computer systems that advise on or help solve
realworld problems requiring an expert’s interpretation and solve realworld
problems using a computer model of expert human reasoning
reaching the same conclusion the human expert would reach if faced
with a comparable problem.’
(Weiss and Kulikowski, 1984)
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