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Case Based Reasoning. Lecture 1: Introduction Professor Susan Craw B18a (via secretary) Lecture/Lab Notes available on the Virtual Campus and . Outline. The Limitations of Rules Solving Problems Case Based Reasoning

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case based reasoning

Case Based Reasoning

Lecture 1: Introduction

Professor Susan Craw B18a (via secretary)

Lecture/Lab Notes available on the Virtual Campus and

  • The Limitations of Rules
  • Solving Problems
  • Case Based Reasoning
  • Applications
  • Reading
the limitations of rules
The Limitations of Rules
  • The success of rule-based expert systems is due to several factors:
    • They can mimic some human problem-solving strategies
    • Rules are a part of everyday life, so people can relate to them
  • However, a significant limitation is the knowledge elicitation bottleneck
    • Experts may be unable to articulate their expertise
      • Heuristic knowledge is particularly difficult
    • Experts may be too busy…
another way we solve problems
Another Way We Solve Problems?
  • By remembering how we solved a similar problem in the past
  • This is Case Based Reasoning (CBR)
    • memory-basedproblem-solving
    • re-usingpast experiences
  • Experts often find it easier to relate stories about past cases than to formulate rules
elephants never forget
Elephants Never Forget!
  • Some biologists suggest that elephants’ success in harsh environments may be due to their memories.
  • A herd of elephants retains a collective memoryof problems and their solutions:
    • E.g., they remember where water can usually be found during a drought.
  • Elephants can solve problems without using models or rules.
  • Database technology would seem ideally suited to the task of retrieving known solutions to problems
  • Databases are excellent at finding exact matches…
  • But are poor at near or fuzzy matches
  • I’ve got the Answer  What’s the Question?
the cbr cycle


The CBR Cycle









r 4 cycle
R4 Cycle
  • Retrieve the cases from the case-base whose problem is most similar to the new problem.
  • Reuse the solutions from the retrieved cases to create a proposed solution for the new problem.
  • Revise the proposed solution to take account of the problem differences between the new problem and the problems in the retrieved cases.
  • Retain the new problem and its revised solution as a new case for the case-base if appropriate.
definitions of cbr
Definitions of CBR
  • Case-based reasoning is […] reasoning by remembering
  • A case-based reasoner solves new problems by adapting solutions that were used to solve old problems
  • Case-based reasoning is a recent approach to problem solving and learning […]

Leake, 1996

Riesbeck & Schank, 1989

Aamodt & Plaza, 1994

cbr assumption s
CBR Assumption(s)
  • The main assumption is that:
    • Similar problems have similar solutions:
      • e.g., an aspirin can be taken for any mild pain
  • Two other assumptions:
    • The world is a regular place: what holds true today will probably hold true tomorrow
      • (e.g., if you have a headache, you take aspirin, because it has always helped)
    • Situations repeat: if they do not, there is no point in remembering them
      • (e.g., it helps to remember how you found a parking space near that restaurant)
problems we solve this way
Problems We Solve This Way
  • Medicine
    • doctor remembers previous patients, especially for rare combinations of symptoms
  • Law
    • English/US law depends on precedence
    • case histories are consulted
  • Management
    • decisions are often based on past rulings
  • Financial
    • performance is predicted by past results
good bad applications for cbr
Good / Bad Applications for CBR
  • Classification tasks (good for CBR)
    • Diagnosis- what type of fault is this?
    • Prediction / estimation- what happened when we saw this pattern before?
  • Synthesis tasks (harder for CBR)
    • Engineering Design
    • Planning
    • Scheduling
success stories for cbr
Failure prediction

ultrasonic NDT of rails for Dutch railways

water in oil wells for Schlumberger

Failure analysis

Mercedes cars for DaimlerChrysler

semiconductors at National Semiconductor

Maintenance scheduling

Boeing 737 engines

TGV trains for SNCF


mission planning for US navy

route planning for DaimlerChrysler cars

Success Stories for CBR
success stories for cbr14

sales support for standard products

sales support for customised products


TV listings from Changing Worlds

music on demand from Kirch Media

news stories via car radios for DaimlerBenz


gas taps for Copreci

Formulation (recipes)

rubber for racing tyres for Pirelli

colouring plastics for General Electric

tablets for AstraZeneca

Success Stories for CBR
impact on business @ microsoft
Impact on Business @ Microsoft
  • Within 9 months of introducing a CBR system @ Microsoft’s call centre in Glasgow
  • Microsoft reported:
    • 10% increase in customer satisfaction rating
    • 28% increase in “first-time-fix” success rate
    • 13% increase in the “agent is informed” customer survey score
    • A significant reduction in the time required to train new agents
    • More consistent responses delivered by agents, regardless of the problem
cbr honours project ideas
CBR Honours Project Ideas
  • CBR for email filtering (anti-SPAM)
    • Michael Long, BSc(Hons) 2004, SPAM filtering
    • Amandine Orecchioni, 2005, Email Management
  • CBR for Diagnosis
    • Katya Ponce do Leon, MSc 2005, Fish Diagnosis for Marine Lab
    • Grant Gauld, BSc(Hons) 2005, CBR Helpdesk for Chevron-Texaco
  • CBR for Planning
    • Abhishek Chakraborty, MSc 2005, CBR Healthcare Planning for Partners Research Emergency Nutrition
    • Scott Morrice, BSc(Hons) 2004, “Killer Bunnies” game
  • If you are interested in a CBR project next year
    • see me or Nirmalie Wiratunga
  • Article
    • Tenth anniversary of the plastics color formulation tool, William Cheetham, AI Magazine, Vol 26, Fall, 2005.
  • Books
    • I. Watson. Applying Knowledge Management: Techniques For Building Corporate Memories. Morgan Kaufmann, 2003.
    • I. Watson. Applying Case-Based Reasoning: Techniques for Enterprise Systems. Morgan Kaufmann, 1997.
cbr resources
CBR Resources
  • CBR on the web
  • CBR Commercial Solutions
    • Orenge from
    • Kaidara Adviser from (
    • eGain (
      • Customer Service & Contact Centre Software
  • CBR Tools in our School
    • CBR-Works from
    • ReCall from
    • Weka from