Report Number: CS-TR-78-699
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: SACON: a knowledge-based consultant for structural analysis
Author: Bennett, James
Author: Creary, Lewis
Author: Engelmore, Robert S.
Author: Melosh, Robert
Date: September 1978
Abstract: In this report we describe an application of artificial intelligence (AI) methods to structural analysis. We describe the development and (partial) implementation of an "automated consultant" to advise non-expert engineers in the use of a general-purpose structural analysis program. The analysis program numerically simulates the behavior of a physical structure subjected to various mechanical loading conditions. The automated consultant, called SACON (Structural Analysis CONsultant), is based on a version of the MYCIN program [Shortliffe, 1974], originally developed to advise physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. The domain-specific knowledge in MYCIN is represented as situation-action rules, and is kept independent of the "inference engine" that uses the rules. By substituting structural engineering knowledge for the medical knowledge, the program was converted easily from the domain of infectious diseases to the domain of structural analysis.