This report describes what expert systems are. It has been written to introduce the concepts involved, and to some extent the techniques, for those who have no previous acquaintance with such systems, but who are concerned with establishing quite what such systems might have to offer, and what is involved in developing them, in their field of application. Ways in which knowledge and uncertainty are represented in expert systems are described, and illustrated by reference to some existing expert systems. The report stems from a project designed to assess the potential for establishing expert systems in the transport field, and discusses the types of expert system package which might be useful in the remaining stages of the project. It includes a useful set of references and a g1ossary.A preliminary assessment of potential transport applications and the implications for the remainder of the project are described in a companion report, ITS Technical Note 145
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