The paradigm of Decision Support Systems (DSS) is to support decision-making, while an Expert System’s (ES) major objective is to provide expert advice in specialised situations. Knowledge-Based DSS (KB-DSS), also called Intelligent Decision Support Systems (IDSS), integrate traditional DSS with the advances of ES. A KB-DSS’ knowledge base usually contains knowledge expressed by an expert and captured by a knowledge engineer. The indirect transfer between the domain expert and the knowledge base through a knowledge engineer may lead to a long and inefficient knowledge acquisition process. This thesis compares 11 DSS packages in search of a (KB-) DSS generator where domain experts can specify and maintain a Specific Decision Support System (SDSS) to assist users in making decisions. The proposed (KB-) DSS-generator is tested with a university and study-program prototype. Since course and study plan programs change intermittently, the (KB-) DSS’ knowledge base enables domain experts to set and maintain their course and study plan rules without the assistance of a knowledge engineer. Criteria are set to govern the (KB-) DSS generator search process. Example knowledge base rules are inspected to determine if domain experts will be able to maintain a set of production rules used in a student registration advice system. By developing a prototype and inspecting knowledge base rules, it was found that domain experts would be able to maintain their knowledge in the decentralised knowledge base, on condition that the objects and attributes used in the rule base were first specified by a builder/programmer.
Dissertation (MSc Computer Science)--University of Pretoria, 2005.
Goede, Roelien(University of Pretoria, 2006-05-13)
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