I have developed a couple of KBDSS myself and a major concern I have is the
concept of an all encompassing DSS. The complexity of providing such a
product (when interacting variables etc. are taken into account) could (is?)
be well be beyond the scope of the present technology.
Developers of expert systems are often told to concentrate on a narrow
domain and there are many examples of how expert systems have attempted
to cover too much territory and failed.
My approach is the development of a series of modules to examine one well
defined problem at a time and accept (at this point in time) that interacting
factors cannot be catered for.
I can see how the group discussion/workshop approach would be very useful
with both farmers and extension officers learning together. The perfect
resource for this learning process may well be a KBDSS linking knowledge
bases with data bases and whole farm component models - BUT some human
interpretation will still be needed to look at the whole picture
(interactions, social aspects particular to the region, cash flow of the
individual farmer etc. etc. etc.).
regards Don Kerr
Faculty of Environmental Sciences Ph +61 (07) 38756675
Griffith University Fax +61(07) 38757459