Knowledge-Based Systems, Viewpoints and the World Wide Web

Ian Finch

The World Wide Web is becoming increasingly popular as a medium for disseminating advice or help to users of products or services. Some of these advice systems are based around knowledge-based systems and as such, can exploit many of the advantages of this technology. However, a wide range of users come into contact with a Web site, bringing with them differing needs. In order to tackle this issue, the `viewpoints’ mechanism, devised by the author to address such problems in more conventional knowledge-based systems, can be employed. This mechanism allows different parts of a single underlying knowledge base to be utilised, presenting a different view of the knowledge base to different groups of users. By combining the viewpoints mechanism with the Web, a single knowledge base can provide advice in a number of ways for different classes of user. For example, a council can provide advice directly to users through the Web, via telephone operatives on a help line and to claim adjudicators, with each interaction tailored to that user’s needs.

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