What is ExpDB
ExpDB (a.k.a. Experience DB) is a software system which consists in a database of experiences, different situations in general, that are thought at a higher abstract level, the purpose being to manage diverse knowledge, in a controlled and organized manner. It allows persisting knowledge by categorizing it and by filtering it, based on its relevance. Thus, ExpDB builds a database meant to include only the most relevant information.
The stored knowledge can be modified, adapted to new situations; it can be used as a set of past experiences that can be used for providing solutions to new encountered situations, by relating the new experiences to past ones, which exist in the database.
In order to achieve this, ExpDB uses Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) engine. CBR can provide solutions for new situations by comparing them with previous similar encountered situations. By doing so, CBR may perform as a problem resolving method.
To contribute to very good representation of knowledge, ExpDB uses ontology as a data model. Ontology is used to specify knowledge domain, representing a well defined vocabulary which describes objects and relations between them. A grammar uses the terms from the vocabulary, being capable to express meanings, for the specified domain.
What ExpDB does is to relate a certain domain of knowledge (specified using ontology) with the CBR core. This way, the manner of specifying and defining knowledge becomes very flexible.
Using the ontology concept, ExpDB has the ability to perform reasoning over the knowledge, being able to infer new knowledge, based on the one that it already has.
The features that ExpDB offers are the following:
- Store information in structured manner;
- Compare pieces of similar information;
- Retrieving the past experience which is the most similar with a new experience;
- Manipulate already stored experiences in order to allow knowledge to adapt;
- Specify the way by which similar experiences are compared;
- Apply a CBR cycle that allows to process information based on Case-Based Reasoning principles (the 4-R).
- using a XML file system;
- a relational database.
ExpDB uses as CBR core the jColibri engine. Similar experiences (which belong to the same domain) are called cases in CBR terminology. Cases are grouped by using a so called case structure. The case structure, like cases as well, has an XML format by which it specifies how information is structured. All the cases that have the same structure, form a case type.
Each case type has one or more similarity functions associated. They are used in order to describe the way a new case is compared with existing cases and to establish which the most similar cases are.
As presented before, ExpDB can use information described with ontology. By the aid of the OWL (Web Ontology Language) and using the powerful semantic web framework called JENA, information described using ontology can contribute to create case structures. Ontology classes and individual attributes are taken and translated in a case structure.
In conclusion, ExpDB is a flexible and complex solution for Knowledge Management that originally integrates the CBR paradigm with the Ontology paradigm. This way ExpDB contributes at a detailed description of different domains.
To have a look at ExpDB, you can watch online two tutorials about ExpDB:
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