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A knowledge-based system (KBS) is a computer system which generates and utilizes knowledge from different sources, data and information. These systems aid in solving problems, especially complex ones, by utilizing artificial intelligence concepts. These systems are mostly used in problem-solving procedures and to support human learning, decision making and actions.
Knowledge-based systems are considered to be a major branch of artificial intelligence. They are capable of making decisions based on the knowledge residing in them, and can understand the context of the data that is being processed.
Knowledge-based systems broadly consist of an interface engine and knowledge base. The interface engine acts as the search engine, and the knowledge base acts as the knowledge repository. Learning is an essential component of knowledge-based systems and simulation of learning helps in the betterment of the systems. Knowledge-based systems can be broadly classified as CASE-based systems, intelligent tutoring systems, expert systems, hypertext manipulation systems and databases with intelligent user interface.
Compared to traditional computer-based information systems, knowledge-based systems have many advantages. They can provide efficient documentation and also handle large amounts of unstructured data in an intelligent fashion. Knowledge-based systems can aid in expert decision making and allow users to work at a higher level of expertise and promote productivity and consistency. These systems are considered very useful when expertise is unavailable, or when data needs to be stored for future usage or needs to be grouped with different expertise at a common platform, thus providing large-scale integration of knowledge. Finally, knowledge-based systems are capable of creating new knowledge by referring to the stored content.
The limitations of knowledge-based systems are the abstract nature of the concerned knowledge, acquiring and manipulating large volumes of information or data, and the limitations of cognitive and other scientific techniques.