EDUCATION AND PRODUCTION XLAYER: An Expert System for Layer Management


ABSTRACT An expert/knowledge base computer program called XLAYER was developed to provide expert management advice to Northeastern commercial poultry layer managers. It has demonstrated ability to diagnose and estimate economic and associated losses and recommend remedial management action for over 80 individual production management problems significantly affecting flock profitability. The XLAYER program, containing over 400 production rules and running on IBM'-compatible personal computers, possesses diverse diagnostic capabilities consistent with those of poultry management experts in nutrition, housing and equipment, disease, marketing, economic, and human-induced management areas. The XLAYER program's expertise was developed from information obtained by interviewing poultry manage-ment experts and specialists in avian nutrition. The XLAYER program expert system technology has application in poultry management and possibly other areas of poultry science. Preliminary success has supported the hypothesis that scarce poultry management expertise can be economically provided to poultry managers, regardless of size and scale of operation, through expert system programs. {Key words: expert systems, rule-based, layer management, expert decision support systems

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