Knowledge Base Compilation (1986-1990)*


... Efficient Implementation of Knowledge Based Expert Systems



Knowledge Base Compilation is a technique for increasing performance and portability of expert systems. It was developed at the University of Kiel (CAU) . Knowledge Base Compilation makes expert system applications efficiently available even on small computers within industrial application environments. The work was done within a project sponsored by the Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell GmbH, Kiel, and in cooperation with the Expert System Research Group of the German National Research Center for Computer Science ( GMD ), St. Augustin, Germany. At Kiel we developed new compiler techniques for hybrid knowledge representation languages, and a concrete compiler for BABYLON which was used successfully to compile expert system applications of industrial relevance onto PC AT's and even notebook computers.

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BABYLON knowledge bases are compiled to Common Lisp in a first step using the BABYLON to Common Lisp Compiler BCLiC. In a second step, the resulting program may be further compiled to C using the Common Lisp to C Compiler CLiCC .

Compilation increases portability. But moreover, we made compiled expert systems run about 10 to 20 times faster than their interpreted counterparts running under BABYLON. Compiled expert system applications run on PC's just as fast as the interpreted versions on large workstations. Using the implementation technique Knowledge Base Compilation we obtain

Modern tools which allow incremental program development and rapid prototyping with adequate knowledge representation languages are useful for building expert systems. Our work shows that expert system applications can be made efficiently available as stand alone applications on a large variety of application machines without the need for expensive reimplementation.



* The work has been supported by the Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell GmbH, Kiel.
Wolfgang Goerigk (wg@informatik.uni-kiel.de)