Oct 22, 2006 - Changing my Project Focus

I put in some concentrated work to get this revised website on-line. It was something I had wanted to do for quite a while. The site looks so much better. (The core of the project was developing a tool in software that puts the website together.)

But I am now in another class at the UWB and I need to get my head into this new material. Knowing what interests me, I should be sucked right in to the stuff. But I have learned that I have a hard time time changing focus. Starting something new takes a lot of personal energy. As long as I am still interested in an old project, I prefer to stay with it until it is fairly well polished.

This new class is about Expert Systems. These are computer programs that have human knowledge about some specific topic distilled into them. They consist of collections of rules something like, "when this is true and that is also true, then this third thing is true". These sorts of systems are good for diagnosis (as in medical or technical), or choosing among complicated options that are in reality just logic puzzles.

(An expert system can work with knowledge, but it isn't intelligent. The knowledge inside the system is laboriously extracted from human experts by interviews. It is then translated into rules in a language the computer can understand. Computers are good at remembering and searching. That combined with the rules is used to find answers.)

So this new stuff is interesting. But even so because of my nature, I still have to push myself into it.