Systematic Evaluation of Design Decisions in CBR Systems

Juan Carlos Santamaria and Ashwin Ram

Two important goals in the evaluation of an AI theory or model are to assess the merit of the design decisions in the performance of an implemented computer system and to analyze the impact in the performance when the system faces problem domains with different characteristics. This is particularly difficult in case-based reasoning systems because such systems are typically very complex, as are the tasks and domains in which they operate. We present a methodology for the evaluation of case-based reasoning systems through systematic empirical experimentation over a range of system configurations and environmental conditions, coupled with rigorous statistical analysis of the results of the experiments. This methodology enables us to understand the behavior of the system in terms of the theory and design of the computational model, to select the best system configuration for a given domain, and to predict how the system will behave in response to changing domain and problem characteristics. A case study of a multistrategy case-based and reinforcement learning system which performs autonomous robotic navigation is presented as an example.


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