Knowledge Refinement in a Reflective Architecture

Yolanda Gil

A knowledge acquisition tool should provide a user with maximum guidance in extending and debugging a knowledge base, by preventing inconsistencies and knowledge gaps that may arise inadvertently. Most current acquisition tools are not very flexible in that they are built for a predetermined inference structure or problem-solving mechanism, and the guidance they provide is specific to that inference structure and hard-coded by their designer. This paper focuses on EXPECT, a reflective architecture that supports knowledge acquisition based on an explicit analysis of the structure of a knowledge-based system, rather than on a fixed set of acquisition guidelines. EXPECT'S problem solver is tightly integrated with LOOM, a state-of-the-art knowledge representation system. Domain facts and goals are represented declaratively, and the problem solver keeps records of their functionality within the task domain. When the user corrects the system’s knowledge, EXPECT tracks any possible implications of this change in the overall system and cooperates with the user to correct any potential problems that may arise. The key to the flexibility of this knowledge acquisition tool is that it adapts its guidance as the knowledge bases evolve in response to changes introduced by the user.


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