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top Introduction

IKBS (Iterative Knowledge Base System) is a software workshop for the construction and management of knowledge bases.
A knowledge base management system stocks, manages and communicates knowledge in a structured way. The product of the system is called a knowledge base, which is an application dedicated to a particular domain (i.e. molecular biology, coral systematics, medicine, etc.). In order to correctly reflect the complexity of reality, the knowledge base must be robust :

The contents of IKBS offer a formalized system of representation of descriptive knowledge within an object-oriented formalism. The prior knowledge (observable knowledge) is called the descriptive model and is represented in the form of description trees. The instanciated knowledge (observed knowledge) is called cases and is represented by trees possessing the same structure as the descriptive model. These cases are stocked in a case base with the help of a questionnaire. From this structured knowledge (data + model), IKBS calculates the rules of classification represented by decision trees and then uses these trees for the identification of new descriptions.

IKBS was first conceived to deal with biological applications, which by nature are more complex than industrial applications. As biological knowledge evolves and can be revised from day to day, IKBS was designed with an iterative methodology that enables it to adapt itself to constant change.

We cant consider the computerized reproduction of the work of these experts as a linear process starting with the acquisition of knowledge, passing through its processing and arriving at decision verification. Nature has endowed us with a field that is so varied and contradictory that it is very difficult to construct rules that are of timeless validity.

The procedure for building a knowledge base is neither simple, nor one-shot. Because of the difficulty of creating the optimal representation of reality, the design of a descriptive model is complex. It requires a trial and error method which in itself requires the reevaluation of a part of the knowledge base, sometimes through several tests of data and model representation. The construction is therefore iterative: knowledge is added as it is acquired (new models, new descriptions, new classifications, new identifications), The problem of incoherence and inconsistency of the knowledge base appears in several contexts, for example when knowledge of the domain evolves through new observational technology, or when several experts collaborate in the elaboration of a knowledge base.

top Conditions of use

To access the entire IKBS system a password and login name are required. We keep a user's list. Don't hesitate to e-mail us at the following address. Otherwise, you can access a demo of IKBS with the ikbs login and the ikbs password.

top Compatibility

IKBS is coded in JAVA 1.1. A virtual machine compatible JAVA 1.1 is required. Such a machine may be present on the computer (depending on its Operating System) or included in the navigator. The following table gives a non-exhaustive list of the software required for different operating systems and navigators.

  Mac OS Linux Solaris Windows
Virtual Machine
Apple MRJ (2.1 ou +)
Java-Linux projet
(Java Tools)
JRE 1.1 de SUN JRE 1.1 de SUN
Netscape Navigator (4 ou +)
with the MRJ and the MRJ Plugin

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Netscape Navigator (3 ou +)

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Netscape Navigator (3 ou +) with the plugin 1.1 from SUN

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Netscape Navigator (3 ou +)
with the plugin 1.1 from SUN

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IExplorer (4 ou +)
with the MRJ

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_ IExplorer (4.01 ou +) with the plugin 1.1 from SUN

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IExplorer (3.02 ou +)
with the plugin 1.1 from SUN

top IKBS

If you wish to obtain further information concerning other operating systems, you can consult the Sun page. The URL to launch IKBS via an applet viewer (HTML page containing the tag <APPLET>) is

infos For security reasons tied to JAVA it is not possible to save files locally during the remote use of IKBS.

The following applet scrolls your system and your virtuel JAVA machine specifications. This will enable you to more easily diagnose any problems you may have in launching IKBS.

Warning The information provided by the following applet is given as an example. The applet is the property of ACME labs.

ERROR : The JAVA 1.1 support is not installed on your computer or your browser. This JAVA applet could not be correctly executed.

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© IREMIA - IKBS team - 11/2000