Knowledge acquisition, knowledge programming, and knowledge refinement

by Frederick Hayes-Roth, Philip Klahr, David J. Mostow


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback41 pages $23.00 $18.40 20% Web Discount

Principal findings and recommendations of a two-year study of machine-aided knowledge acquisition. The report discusses the transfer of expertise from humans to machines, as well as the functions of planning, debugging, knowledge refinement, and autonomous machine learning. The research method emphasizes iterative refinement of knowledge in response to actual experience. A machine's "knowledge" is acquired from a human, who provides concepts, constraints, and problem-solving heuristics to define some minimal level of performance. Semiautomatic methods convert the initial knowledge into a working program whose resulting behaviors can be used to diagnose problems and design refinements. Methods formulated here may reduce or eliminate much of the human involvement currently required in this process. The approach is illustrated by application of the paradigm to the game of hearts. Recommendations suggest increased emphasis on core research problems standing between current technology and the capability of automatic knowledge programming and refinement.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.