Rule Editor (probably text editor) to customize the interface where subject matter experts create rules

  • ChayaCooper

    ChayaCooper - 2013-09-29

    I would really appreciate recommendations for a Knowledge-base Editor/Rule Editor (probably a text editor). I am considering using CLIPS, but before I can make that determination I need to find a tool that would allow me to customize the interface where subject matter experts compose and add rules to the Knowledge-base.

    My goal is to design the interface so that subject matter experts do not have to interact with the CLIPS code by allowing them to use a format based on the traditional IF THEN statements, along with prescribed terminology and input tools such as drop-downs, checkboxes, radio buttons and help facilities.

    I've done a fair amount of research but am having trouble finding relatively current information about what options exist (let alone the best options ;-)).

    I would ideally like to find a Rules Editor that is relatively simple to use and customize, good documentation and support (by the developers or the community), open source, and free or relatively inexpensive. My operating system is primarily Windows 7, but I am temporarily using MAC OS X v.10.5.8.

    Last edit: ChayaCooper 2013-10-02
  • Gary Riley

    Gary Riley - 2013-09-29

    I'm not aware of a commercial or open source tool that acts as a front end for generating CLIPS source code.

    • ChayaCooper

      ChayaCooper - 2013-10-02

      @Gary Riley - Thanks for the quick response :-) Is there any reason/obstacles that I am unaware of that would prevent or make it complicated to treat the GUI like a web form, and have the code (probably PHP) generate and submit the correct CLIPS code?

      • Gary Riley

        Gary Riley - 2013-10-03

        I don't think that the problem is technically complex, but on the other hand a full featured rule editor with all the bells and whistles is quite a bit of work. If you look at a product like JRules, at the core there's a technical rule language with syntax that's difficult for someone without a programming background to understand (basically the CLIPS program). You then need verbalizations which map english-like syntax to the underlying object model. You can then build a rule editor (either an editor within an IDE such as Eclipse or a web form). If you want to support multiple users editing the same rule base then you'll probably want to store your rules in a database and provide versioning control. There's nothing here that's conceptually difficult to understand, but it's a lot of coding.

        If you don't need a generalized solution, the problem becomes a lot simpler. If you got a single user editing the rules, you just need some way to save and load them. And if you're targeting a single application, you can make the web form specialized so that it's very easy to edit the rules. For example, using spreadsheet like tables for entering rule conditions and actions.

  • vranoch

    vranoch - 2013-09-30

    Hello, we have such system which allows a graphical construction of algorithms based on CLIPS but it is not intended to fully utilize all CLIPS constructs such as COOL etc. Instead, you can combine the main CLIPS advantages - a declarative programming conditions and quantifiers with imperative programming condtructs such loops, assignments etc. It is not only a CLIPS code generator but a complex expert system. I may send You couple of screenshots of the rule designer if You are interested.


    • ChayaCooper

      ChayaCooper - 2013-10-02

      @Vranoch - That sounds wonderful :-D Would you mind sending me a link to the system (in addition to the screenshots you were so generous to offer ;-))


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