Expert Systems: C. E. Potential

by Steven J. Fenves, Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Dir.; Design Research Center, Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,
M. L. Maher, Asst. Prof.; Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,
D. Sriram, Ph.D. Candidate; Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 10, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Expert systems, each one a very extensive computer program or set of programs, incorporate not only the facts known about a subject area, but the rules of thumb and other guidelines and procedures an expert uses to solve problems. This article tells what an expert system is, how it differs from conventional programs, how it is created, and suggests topical areas in civil engineering practice, research and education which are logical candidates for application of expert systems. A boxed sidebar describes one of the expert systems, HYDRO (which aids the engineer in using a watershed modeling program), tells how it was written and how close it is to being ready to use by practitioners.

Subject Headings: Expert systems | Computer software | Engineering profession | Systems engineering | Engineering education | Watersheds | Computer models | Hydrologic models

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