is a skill that requires application of logical rules and existing
data/knowledge to arrive at a solution. Typically a logical solution
involves applying knowledge to data/information about a system,
performing data analysis and application of decision making rules
enroute to a solution. Such a problem-solving process also includes
understanding the roles of different parameters that can impact
system behavior. A technical specialist is one who can perform
all of the above tasks, and Genera provides a framework to facilitate
creation of a computer-based problem-solving representation through
a sequence of steps similar to the one used by a technical specialist.
the user develops an application template with the relevant information
(tasks and variables) such that the application contains all the
specialized knowledge. This facilitates consultation regarding
issues in that particular area (domain). The application template
stores different variables that are to be considered. These are
all the variables that affect a system's behavior. The data specified
in the template provides a trend which in turn forms the basis
for the system to generate solutions. The figure below shows an
organization of objects in the generic framework for materials
and corrosion problem solving.
The values of
each of the individual variables for the present situation are ranked
based on the existing data. The variables are then combined based
on their relative importance to give a cumulative meaning relevant
to characterizing the state of the system.
Two key concepts
in the generic framework are templates and consultations.
Templates are domain specific applications and consultations are
instances of the templates. A template consists of related objects,
specified so that they represent a specific area of problem-solving.
A consultation can only exist as an instance of an open template,
(i.e., you can only consult an available specialist). Components
of the generic framework can be described as:
- A template
is made up of objects.
- Objects are
characterized in terms of parameters.
(P) defined in terms of their relative importances (I) (on a numerical
scale of 1 - 100) and a set of data points form an object.
- The set of
data points, representing relevant range values, for each parameter
are value-rank (V-R) pairs which map specific data values on a
interval scale of 1 - 100.
pairs with relative importances define the quantitative contribution
of a parameter towards the state of an object.
A template can
be used to define any number of objects. Objects can be specified
anew or can be borrowed from an existing template. Each object can
be defined in terms of any number of parameters along with their
relative importances. The parameters can be defined by any number
of value-rank pairs. The figure below shows a schematic of the different
relational levels in Genera