Knowledge Base Refinement Using Abstract Control Knowledge

Reference: Wilkins, D. C.; Clancey, W. J.; & Buchanan, B. G. Knowledge Base Refinement Using Abstract Control Knowledge. January 1987, 1987.

Abstract: An explicit representation of the problem solving method of an expert system shell as an abstract control knowledge provides a powerful foundation for learning. This paper describes the abstract control knowledge of the HERACLES expert system shell for heuristic classification problems, and describes how the ODYSSEUS apprenticeship learning program uses this representation to semi- automate "end game" knowledge acquisition. The problem solving method of HERACLES is represented explicitly as domain-independent tasks and metarules. Metarules locate and apply domain knowledge to achieve problem solving subgoals, such as testing, refining, or differentiating between hypothesis; and asking general or clarifying questions. We show how monitoring abstract control knowledge for metarule premise failures provides a means of detecting gaps in the knowledge base. A knowledge base gap will almost always cause a metarule premise failure. We aslo show how abstract control knowledge plays a crucial role in using underlying domain theories for learning, especially weak domain theories. The construction of abstract control knowledge requires that the different types of knowledge that enter into problem solving be represented in different knowledge relations. This provides a foundation for the integration of underlying domain theories into a learning system, because justification of different types of new knowledge usually requires different ways of using an underlying domain theory. We advocate the construction of a definitional constraint for each knowledge relation that specifies how the relation is defined and justified in terms of underlying domain theories.

Notes: STAN-CS-87-1182 9 pages.

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