Howsafe: A Microcomputer-Based Expert System to Evaluate the Safety of a Construction Firm

by Raymond E. Levitt,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Expert Systems in Civil Engineering


This paper discusses the development of the Howsafe expert system as a case history in knowledge engineering on microcomputers. The focus is on issues of knowledge representation, reasoning and explanation which arose in the development of Howsafe rather than on the domain knowledge of construction safety management. In particular, the paper addresses the issue of knowledge engineering when the expert system developer or 'knowledge engineer' is also the expert. We conclude that microcomputer expert system development tools like The Deciding Factor can help to resolve the current knowledge engineering bottleneck by permitting experts to carry out much of their own knowledge engineering.

Subject Headings: Systems engineering | Expert systems | Occupational safety | Construction companies | Construction management | Case studies | Engineering history | Organizations

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