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MathGroup Archive 2001

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Can Mathematica be used as expert system (rule-based computations like CLIPS?)

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  • Subject: [mg28419] Can Mathematica be used as expert system (rule-based computations like CLIPS?)
  • From: "Rudy Cazabon" <raygunprez at>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 23:54:22 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hi everyone...

I would like to know if anyone could comment on whether Mathematica can be
used as an expert system?

I have been looking into several expert systems out there that are of a
rules-based paradigm.  Specifically, one called CLIPS developed by NASA.

The upside is that CLIPS is available and it works.  The downside is that it
does not have an expansive set of mathematical tools in available to it.
Although CLIPS is open source and can be modified any which way you want and
need, the task of getting it to talk back-and-forth to Mathematica to
request math computations and the such would be development effort on its

So, I would like to explore the possibility of hosting some of these
expert-system capabilities using Mathematica's symbolic capabilities.

However, these are the portions that I am somewhat at a loss with regards to
Mathematica rules applications and pattern-matching...

In the CLIPS system you define a rule as follows:

(defrule <rule name> [<optional comment>]
    <1-or-more patterns>* ;; this corresponds to the LHS of a rule statement
    =>  ;; the THEN operator like in "if A = B THEN B is blah"
    <1-or-more actions>* ;; if the pattern matches, do something

however, from what I can see, in Mathematica the definition of rules is

expr /. LHS -> RHS

and that pattern definition is LHS->RHS .

So, my question is ... rather than getting a rule to perform a replacement
operation can I get it to do an arbitrary operation?

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