Designing a testing strategy for expert systems
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For the most part, traditional software enqineerinq testinq strateqies assume modular proqram development. This assumption is impractical to make for expert system development, for the knowledqe base of an expert system is quite simply a huqe non-modular proqram. It consists almost entirely of non-ordered, multi-branchinq decision statements. In traditional proqramminq, the module interfaces are limited and well defined. For rule-based expert systems, the interaction among rules is combinatoric and highly data-driven. Thus, the testing of a completed expert system via traditional path analysis is impractical.
The design of a testing strategy for expert systems focuses on the generic phases of expert system development. Briefly, these phases include system definition, incremental system implementation, and system maintenance.. Using this simplified breakdown of the expert system development process as a guide, certain testing techniques can be generalized enough to work for any expert system application.
- Masters Theses