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Integrated Knowledge Utilization and Evolution for the Conservation of Corporate Know-How

Otto Kühn; Volker Becker; Georg Lohse; Philipp Neumann
DFKI, DFKI Research Reports (RR), Vol. 94-31, 1994.


Insufficient consideration of knowledge evolution is a frequent cause for the failure of knowledge-based systems (KBSs) in industrial practice. Corporate know-how about the design and manufacturing of a particular product is subject to rather rapid changes, and it is hard to specify in advance exactly what information will be requested by various users. Keeping a KBS for the conservation of corporate know-how up-to-date or even enhancing its utility, thus requires the continuous monitoring of its performance, noting deficiencies, and suggestions for improvements. In the current paper, we discuss different ways in which information collected during knowledge utilization can be exploited for system evolution. We present structure-based rule and concept editors which allow for an immediate integration and formalization of new information, even by rather unexperienced users. A prototypical knowledge conservation system for crankshaft design which was developed in cooperation between the DFKI and a German company is used to illustrate and evaluate our approach.