Report Number: CS-TR-87-1183
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: The Knowledge Engineer as Student: Metacognitive bases for asking good questions
Author: Clancey, W. J.
Date: January 1987
Abstract: Knowledge engineers are efficient, active leamers. They systematically approach domains and acquire knowledge to solve routine, practical problems. By modeling their methods, 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, the categorization of routine problem-solving knowledge, and domain and task differences. this paper studies these different forms of metaknowledge, and illustrates its incorporation in an intelligent tutoring system. A model of learning is presented that 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.