The Knowledge Engineer as Student: Metacognitive bases for asking good questions

Reference: Clancey, W. J. The Knowledge Engineer as Student: Metacognitive bases for asking good questions. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1987.

Abstract: Knowledge engineers are efficient, active learners. By modeling their methods for approaching new domains and aquiring the knowledge to solve routine, practical problems, we may develop a basis for teaching other students how to direct their own learning. In particular, a knowledge engineer is good at detecting gaps in a knowledge base and asking focused questions to improve an expert system's performance. This ability stems from domain-general knowledge about problem-solving procedures, how routine problem-solving knowlege is categorized, and domain and task differences. This paper studies different forms of this metaknowledge, and illustrates how it can be incorporated in an intelligent tutoring system. A model of learning is presented which describes how the knowledge engineer detects problem-solving failures and tracks them back to gaps in domain knowledge, which are then reformulated as questions to ask a teacher. We describe how this model of active learning is being developed and tested in a knowledge acquisition program for an expert system.

Notes: STAN-CS-87-1183.

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