In the development of a knowledge based expert system, one of key issues is how to build the knowledge base (KB) in an efficient way with keeping the objectivity of KB. In order to solve this issue, an approach has been proposed to build a prototype KB systematically by a statistical method, factor analysis. For the verification of this approach, factor analysis was applied to build a prototype KB for the JAERI expert system DISKET. To this end, alarm and process information was generated by a PWR simulator and the factor analysis was applied to this information to define taxonomy of accident hypotheses and to extract rules for each hypothesis. The prototype KB thus built was tested through inferring against several types of transients including double-failures. In each diagnosis, the transient type was well identified. Furthermore, newly introduced standards for rule extraction showed good effects on the enhancement of the performance of prototype KB.
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