Complexity, Decidability and Undecidability Results for Rule- Based Expert Systems

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1992

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We prove the equivalence of domain-independent planning systems and rule-based expert systems. We use this equivalence to examine how the complexity of deriving conclusions in rule-based expert systems depends on the nature of the rules. We show conditions under which conclusion derivation is decidable and undecidable. For those cases where the problem is decidable, we show how the time complexity varies depending on a wide variety of conditions: whether or not function symbols are allowed; whether or not rules may retract facts; whether or not negative conditions are allowed; whether or not the rules are allowed to take arguments; and whether the rules are given as part of the input to the expert system, or instead are fixed in advance.

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