We present an approach to systematically describing case-based reasoning systems bydifferent kinds of criteria. One main requirement was the practical relevance of these criteria and their usability for real-life applications. We report on the results we achieved from a case study carried out in the INRECA1 Esprit project.
Case-based problem solving can be significantly improved by applying domain knowledge (in opposition to problem solving knowledge), which can be acquired with reasonable effort, to derive explanations of the correctness of a case. Such explanations, constructed on several levels of abstraction, can be employed as the basis for similarity assessment as well as for adaptation by solution refinement. The general approach for explanation-based similarity can be applied to different real world problem solving tasks such as diagnosis and planning in technical areas. This paper presents the general idea as well as the two specific, completely implemented realizations for a diagnosis and a planning task.
Contrary to symbolic learning approaches, which represent a learned concept explicitly, case-based approaches describe concepts implicitly by a pair (CB; sim), i.e. by a measure of similarity sim and a set CB of cases. This poses the question if there are any differences concerning the learning power of the two approaches. In this article we will study the relationship between the case base, the measure of similarity, and the target concept of the learning process. To do so, we transform a simple symbolic learning algorithm (the version space algorithm) into an equivalent case- based variant. The achieved results strengthen the hypothesis of the equivalence of the learning power of symbolic and case-based methods and show the interdependency between the measure used by a case-based algorithm and the target concept.
Retrieval of cases is one important step within the case-based reasoning paradigm. We propose an improvement of this stage in the process model for finding most similar cases with an average effort of O[log2n], n number of cases. The basic idea of the algorithm is to use the heterogeneity of the search space for a density-based structuring and to employ this precomputed structure, a k-d tree, for efficient case retrieval according to a given similarity measure sim. In addition to illustrating the basic idea, we present the expe- rimental results of a comparison of four different k-d tree generating strategies as well as introduce the notion of virtual bounds as a new one that significantly reduces the retrieval effort from a more pragmatic perspective. The presented approach is fully implemented within the (Patdex) system, a case-based reasoning system for diagnostic applications in engineering domains.
Planning means constructing a course of actions to achieve a specified set of goals when starting from an initial situation. For example, determining a sequence of actions (a plan) for transporting goods from an initial location to some destination is a typical planning problem in the transportation domain. Many planning problems are of practical interest.
Patdex is an expert system which carries out case-based reasoning for the fault diagnosis of complex machines. It is integrated in the Moltke workbench for technical diagnosis, which was developed at the university of Kaiserslautern over the past years, Moltke contains other parts as well, in particular a model-based approach; in Patdex where essentially the heuristic features are located. The use of cases also plays an important role for knowledge acquisition. In this paper we describe Patdex from a principal point of view and embed its main concepts into a theoretical framework.