A Formal Methodology for Acquiring and Representing Expert Knowledge

Nancy M. Cooke, James E. Mcdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The process of eliciting knowledge from human experts and representing that knowledge in an expert or knowledge-based system suffers from numerous problems. Not only is this process time-consuming and tedious, but the weak knowledge acquisition methods typically used (i.e., interviews and protocol analysis) are inadequate for eliciting tacit knowledge and may, in fact, lead to inaccuracies in the knowledge base. In addition, the intended knowledge representation scheme guides the acquisition of knowledge resulting in a representation-driven knowledge base as opposed to one that is knowledge-driven. In this paper, a formal methodology is proposed that employs techniques from the field of cognitive psychology to uncover expert knowledge as well as an appropriate representation of that knowledge. The advantages of such a methodology are discussed, as well as results from studies concerning the elicitation of concepts from experts and the assignment of labels to links in empirically derived semantic networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1422-1430
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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