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With the ever increasing complexity of high energy physics experiments and the increasing number of parameters in data acquisition systems, it is worth investigating the use of "expert systems" for producing system wide diagnostics. Computer programs with "built-in" knowledge and operating at the expert level not only enable the inspection of status registers in each module, but can also make suggestions about the possible causes of a particular error situation. The expert system can be viewed as an "intelligent" assistant (who is on shift for 24 hours each day), and as a result of its ability to operate at the "expert" level, can offer advice or take a decision about a particular error situation. This paper discusses briefly the background to "expert system" research, describes the major components of expert systems, and presents some initial results from an "expert system" designed to diagnose a FASTBUS data acquisition system.
Date of Publication: Feb. 1987