Knowledge support for problem-solving in a production process: A hybrid of knowledge discovery and case-based reasoning

Duen-Ren Liu*, Chih Kun Ke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Problem-solving is an important process that enables corporations to create competitive business advantages. Traditionally, case-based reasoning techniques have been widely used to help workers solve problems. However, conventional approaches focus on identifying similar problems without exploring the information needs of workers during the problem-solving process. Such processes are usually knowledge intensive tasks; therefore, workers need effective knowledge support that gives them the information necessary to identify the causes of a problem and enables them to take appropriate action to resolve the situation. In this paper, we propose a mining-based knowledge support system for problem-solving. In addition to adopting case-based reasoning to identify similar situations and the action taken to solve them, the proposed system employs text mining (information retrieval) techniques to extract the key concepts of situations and actions. These concepts form profiles that model workers' information needs when handling problems. Effective knowledge support can thus be facilitated by providing workers with situation/action-relevant information based on the profiles. Moreover, association rule mining is used to discover hidden knowledge patterns from historical problem-solving logs. The discovered patterns identify frequent associations between situations and actions, and can therefore provide decision-making knowledge, i.e., appropriate actions for handling specific situations. We develop a prototype system to demonstrate the effectiveness of providing situation/action relevant information and decision-making knowledge to help workers solve problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • Case-based reasoning
  • Data mining
  • Knowledge support
  • Problem-solving
  • Text mining


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