Rigorous approach to the development of knowledge-based systems

Robert T. Plant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Knowledge-based systems have often been criticized for the limited theoretical base on which they are constructed. The partially valid view, held by many, is that systems are often constructed in an ad hoc, individual way, which leads to unmaintainable, unreliable, and unrigorous systems. This holds even though there have been several attempts at producing development methodologies to assist the knowledge engineer in the construction process1-7. A large contributing reason for the limited applicability of these methodologies is that they often too closely follow the waterfall model approach used for the development of conventional software systems8. This approach forces developers to make large jumps in the system state during development, which is not necessarily the most conductive way to model the domain accurately. The paper therefore aims to introduce a new alternative approach that shows the benefits of taking a software engineering philosophy towards the development of knowledge-based systems. The methodology breaks down the process of creating a knowledge-based system into constituent parts and discusses ways of creating rigorous specifications for those parts, as applicable. This includes specifying the knowledge base, the representation, the control architecture, etc., thus promoting quality systems that are better specified, more reliable, and easier to maintain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • knowledge-based systems
  • specification
  • system development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence


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