Date of Award

Spring 5-1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jessie Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


Expert systems are a rapidly developing area of research. A sub-area of artificial intelligence, the success of expert systems depends heavily on an expert of a particular subject matter and that expert's ability to make analytical inferences based upon the human capacity to reason and deduce. Because the broad and ultimate goal of artificial intelligence is to develop computers capable of emulating human behavioral and psychoanalytical patterns, there is much to discover about the learning component of a computer. This thesis focuses on the development and the complexity of expert systems. Included, is a brief history of expert systems, a look at the components of an expert system, and an approach as to the design and analysis of expert systems. Finally, the thesis ends with a look at the ethical issues concerning the use of expert systems based on case studies that were consulted prior to and during my research.