A Novel Approach to Expert Systems for Design of Large Structures
A novel approach is presented for the development of expert systems for structural design problems. This approach differs from the conventional expert systems in two fundamental respects. First, mathematical optimization is introduced into the design process. Second, a computer is used to obtain parts of the knowledge necessary in the expert systems in addition to heuristics and experiential knowledge obtained from documented materials and human experts. As an example of this approach, a prototype coupled expert system, the bridge truss expert (BTExpert), is presented for optimum design of bridge trusses subjected to moving loads. BTExpert was developed by interfacing an interactive optimization program developed in Fortran 77 to an expert system shell developed in Pascal. This new generation of expert systems-embracing various advanced technologies such as AI (machine intelligence), the numeric optimization technique, and interactive computer graphics -- should find enormous practical implications.
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