A Representation System User Interface for Knowledge Base Designers

  • Richard E. Fikes


A major strength of frame-based knowledge representation languages is their ability to provide the knowledge base designer with a concise and intuitively appealing means expression. The claim of intuitive appeal is based on the observation that the object -centered style of description provided by these languages often closely matches a designer's understanding of the domain being modeled and therefore lessens the burden of reformulation involved in developing a formal description. To be effective as a knowledge base development tool, a language needs to be supported by an implementation that facilitates creating, browsing, debugging, and editing the descriptions in the knowledge base. We have focused on providing such support in a SmallTalk (Ingalls, 1978) implementation of the KL-ONE knowledge representation language (Brachman, 1978), called KloneTalk, that has been in use by several projects for over a year at Xerox PARC. In this note, we describe those features of KloneTalk's displaybased interface that have made it an effective knowledge base development tool, including the use of constraints to automatically determine descriptions of newly created data base items.