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Automating Knowledge Acquisition: A Propositional Approach to Representing Expertise as an Alternative to Repertory Grid Technique
February 1995 (vol. 7 no. 1)
pp. 53-67

Abstract—Repertory grid technique plays a central role in the elicitation methodology of many well-reported knowledge acquisition tools or workbenches. However, the dependability of these systems is low where the technique breaks down or proves inadequate due to limited expressive power and other problems. This paper introduces an alternate approach based on Personal Construct Theory that elicits an expert’s knowledge as a network of terms that constitutes a propositional formalism. An extended example is used to both highlight the difficulties encountered using repertory grids and illustrate how these are overcome using the proposed approach. The results of an empirical study are presented where an experienced clinician compared the knowledge structures that she constructed for a diagnostic task using each elicitation technique. Furthermore, although the network representation is amenable to inductive learning methods for generating production rules, an inference method is demonstrated which reveals the formalism’s categorical reasoning potential. The authors conclude it is more appropriate to classify such methods as either mediating or immediate rather than the knowledge structures they employ. The paper contributes to a better understanding of constructivist formalisms developed for knowledge acquisition.

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Index Terms:
Associative network, constructivist term logic, knowledge elicitation, Personal Construct Theory, repertory grid.
Derek Batty, Mohamed S. Kamel, "Automating Knowledge Acquisition: A Propositional Approach to Representing Expertise as an Alternative to Repertory Grid Technique," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 53-67, Feb. 1995, doi:10.1109/69.368518
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