Unification-based approach for knowledge base verification
Knowledge base verification, a part of the validation process in expert system development, includes checking the knowledge base for completeness and consistency to guard against a variety of errors that can arise during the process of transferring expertise from a human expert to a computer system. Regardless of how an expert system is developed, its developers can profit from a systematic check of the knowledge base without gathering extensive data for test runs, even before the full reasoning mechanism is functioning. Until recently knowledge base verification has been largely ignored, which has led to expert systems with knowledge base errors and no safety factors for correctness. We propose a unification-based approach for verification of a knowledge base represented in the form of production rules and facts. This approach can determine conflicting, redundant, subsumed and circular rules; redundant if-conditions in rules; dead-end rules; and cycles and contradiction in rules.