Knowledge Base

What do I need to bring with me to the course?

Unless otherwise specified you are not required to bring anything with you. Everything you will need for the course will be provided.

knowledge base (KB) is a technology used to store complex structured and unstructured information used by a computer system. The initial use of the term was in connection with expert systems which were the first knowledge-based systems.

The original use of the term knowledge-base was to describe one of the two sub-systems of a knowledge-based system. A knowledge-based system consists of a knowledge-base that represents facts about the world and an inference engine that can reason about those facts and use rules and other forms of logic to deduce new facts or highlight inconsistencies.[1]

The term “knowledge-base” was coined to distinguish this form of knowledge store from the more common and widely used term database. At the time (the 1970s) virtually all large Management Information Systems stored their data in some type of hierarchical or relational database. At this point in the history of Information Technology the distinction between a database and a knowledge base was clear and unambiguous. A database had these properties:

  • Flat data. Data was usually represented in a tabular format with strings or numbers in each field.
  • Multiple users. A conventional database needed to support more than one user or system logged into the same data at the same time.
  • Transactions. An essential requirement for a database was to maintain integrity and consistency among data accessed by concurrent users. These are the so-called ACID properties: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability.
  • Large, long-lived data. A corporate database needed to support not just thousands but hundreds of thousands or more rows of data. Such a database usually needed to persist past the specific uses of any individual program; it needed to store data for years and decades rather than for the life of a program.
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