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Expert Systems in Work Environment


An expert system is a computer program that is designed to help in solving problems using the knowledge of an expert in a given field. The program simulates the behavior and judgment of an individual or an organization using the expert knowledge and experience that is used in writing it. The expert system contains a knowledge base which is the location where data is stored, a set of rules that help in applying the knowledge, and a user interface that helps in the input and output of information. As a regional manager, I have many responsibilities and a lot of information to manage. Adopting an expert system would be very effective because it would help in managing all the operations that take place especially in relation to decision making. This paper will seek to analyze how an expert system could be integrated with my work environment as a regional manager by trade.

Description of Work

As a regional manager, I manage all the employees in my branch and all other operations that take place in this branch. Our employees supply our customers with our products and this needs proper management. At times, some problems occur and I am required to make some sound decisions that help the branch to solve the problem and continue its operations. The sales at times go very low and I am supposed to give an explanation for it. The answer that is provided to any question needs an explanation that is logical.

Integration of the Expert System

Trade is a system of interacting parts where the disturbance in any one part would affect all other parts. Integration of an expert system requires combined efforts of specialists from the different fields that are in our branch. This is because these employees are knowledgeable only in their areas of specialization (Haag and Cummings 113). Therefore such collaboration from the various departments in our branch will ensure the expert system the helps the manager to solve problems from the entire departments present.

The Knowledge Base

Before implementing an expert system, the problems that the system is required to be solving should be laid down. All the experts from the fields that form the system should then be invited to provide expert information from their knowledge and experience. This will help in developing a system that has all the available information regarding the problems identified. All the facts that are provided by the experts should be stored in the knowledge base such as a database (PennState College of Agricultural Sciences 6). The knowledge base will also contain the rules about a particular problem domain. This is the data and the rules that are needed in the daily management of the trade operations. All facts regarding the problems that are involved in the sale of products from ordering through delivery to the time when the order is concluded are included. The rules should be structured in a way that the inference engine will be able to understand. This is basically the process by which experts in programming will develop the program to be used in making decisions about the problem. The rules will consist of a condition followed by a conclusion. The user will be required to enter a problem in a given input format when consulting the program. Inputting data in a correct manner will help the program provide efficient solutions to any questions that a user could have.

The Inference Engine

This is the main processing unit of the expert system. The software can be developed to locate rules from the knowledge base (PennState College of Agricultural Sciences 7). These are the rules that are necessary for solving a given problem depending on the data that the user inputs. When a user will input some problem in the program, the inference engine will infer new knowledge using the codes that will be written to solve such a problem that the user has input. For the software to produce the best results, the experts must provide correct information and the coding must be perfect. This can be ensured by testing the software with some right and wrong data after its development to see how it will respond.

The User Interface

One of the most important components in an expert system is the user interface. This is the way that the user interacts with the expert system (PennState College of Agricultural Sciences 8). The user interface should be very effective so that the correct result is reached. Some of the input methods include dialog boxes, command prompts, forms, and others. In some cases, the expert system has to interact with some other machines in the system before giving the results. The system must have the capacity to accept instructions from the user and translate them into codes that the other parts of the system will understand and process. After processing, the system to be developed must be able to translate the instructions from the system and present them as the end results to the user in a way that the user will understand. A good expert system is user-friendly and should be capable of helping the user in case the user inputs instructions wrongly.

Explanation Subsystem

In some cases, the process that an expert system uses to reach a certain conclusion is not clear to the user. The system to be integrated should have a means by which it can explain the actions that took place so that the final answer is reached. The user can use this subsystem to know whether he or she needs to input any more data for more specific answers.

When all these components are developed, the expert system can then be installed in the organization’s system. The manager will be trained on how to use the system. Whenever a problem arises, the manager will only need to input his problem and receive the solution automatically.


Integration of an expert system in my work environment would help me make sound decisions whenever a problem occurs. Integration of an expert system requires combined efforts of experts from the different fields that are involved in the business. This is because the program to be developed will require the knowledge of these experts. Integrating the system will begin by identifying the problems that need to be addressed. A knowledge base will be developed that will contain the facts and rules addressing the problem. This information will be stored in a database and their relationships will also be developed. The software developed will contain the interface engine that will be used to process the problems that are input by the user. It will be locating the rules that are contained in the knowledge base. The user interface helps the user to interact with the system in an effective manner. The explanation subsystem helps the user to know the path that the expert system followed in solving a problem.


Haag, Stephen. And Cummings, Maeve. Management Information Systems (for the information age) McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008

PennState College of Agricultural Sciences. Expert Systems Development Group. 2004. Web.


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