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How to create a knowledge base

These are some tips to give you an idea of the process involved in creating a knowledge base.

1. Understand the reason why you are creating a knowledge base. Some reasons include:

2. Find good sources of information such as:

  • Books
  • On-line documents or web sites
  • Human experts

3. Define the subjects in the knowledge base.

  • You can use a tool such as Fact Guru's Text Analyzer to find terms.
  • You can also read your sources of information and make a list of all the terms that are used in special ways, or about which your information sources have a lot to say.
  • Decide on the extent of the knowledge base, what areas will it cover. You may have to cover a subset of the terms you have found. Perhaps you choose just the most important terms, or perhaps you focus on a particular topic.
  • If two terms are used for the same subject, decide which is to be the preferred term and list the other as a synonym. If a term is used with more than one meaning then you will have to number the different meanings. For example, you might have 'Post^1': A piece of wood sticking out of the ground, and 'Post^2', a service for exchanging mail. ^1 after the word indicates "meaning 1" and ^2 indicates "meaning 2".

4. Arrange the subjects in a kind of hierarchy or topic hierarchy

  • Use the Fact Guru Text Analyzer or examine your information sources to find how the subjects are related to each other.
  • Add new subjects as needed to group together categories of subjects
  • Make use of multiple inheritance as needed

5. Add facts for the subjects

  • Make "templates" in subjects high up in the hierarchy of facts that need to be filled in for subjects lower in the hierarchy. A template consists of a predicate but no complement. For example, in a hierarchy about cars you could introduce the predicates "has horsepower" and "manufacturer" at a high level in the hierarchy since all cars have these predicates. When you get to the subject "1995 Escort" you can fill in the values for the predicates.
  • Use the Fact Guru Text Analyzer or read your information sources to find facts

6. Check the knowledge base

  • Check that inherited facts still hold true in subconcepts
  • If identical or similar predicates appear in subjects with the same parent, move the predicate to their parent subject
  • Have the knowledge base reviewed by an expert in the area that the knowledge base is about

© Fact Guru, 2001