Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems

With our ability to amass information from various sources, geographers are encountering information explosion in their analyses. Facing an almost unabated growth of information, it is absolutely necessary to apply geographical knowledge and expertise to streamline, analyze, manage, digest, visualize, and integrate information in an efficient and effective manner. Without knowledge, information becomes static and perhaps useless in our analysis of human behaviors or physical processes in space and time. Geographic information system (GIS) renders an efficient way to manage our data. Geographical analysis however goes beyond what GIS has to offer. It is not just the mechanical storage and retrieval of information, and the dazzling display of data. It is rather the kind of analysis that calls for the integrative utilization of information and geographical knowledge to solve structured, semistructured, or unstructured problems with varying degrees of complexity.

In broad terms, the information side deals with the collection, representation, storage, retrieval, processing, and display of data. It, in general, involves the handling, processing, and organization of data suitable for calculating and measuring, as well as for reasoning with and updating of knowledge. The knowledge side comprises the acquisition, representation, and storage of knowledge, as well as the use of knowledge in inference and analysis. In general, it deals with the handling of the body of truth and principles acquired through experience or association. It serves as a basis for inference and analysis. Furthermore, knowledge can be used to guide us to monitor, visualize, explore, integrate, and create information. The interplay of knowledge and information greatly expands the role of information technology in geographical analysis. Apparently, the synergy surpasses the capabilities of spatial information systems which concentrate more on the mechanics of data manipulation than analysis and inference. It is thus absolutely essential that we can fully utilize the complementarity roles of knowledge and information in decision making. Artificial intelligence is thus a way for achieving such goal.

Spatial Knowledge Representation and Inference

Expert Systems for Domain-Specific Problems

Acquisition of Spatial Knowledge

Intelligent Decision Support System – An Integration