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Fuzzy Logic, MIS Vs DSS , AI and Neural Networks.

DSS definition: A decision support system is a computerized information system,

designed to
support business and organizational decision-making activities.

DSS as interactive computer-based systems which help decision makers utilize

data and models to solve ill-structured problems.

. Therefore advanced models can be supported by DSS to solve complex

decision problems, e.g., emergency situations, where quick responses are often
required. As many business decision problems involve large
data sets stored in different databases, data warehouses, and even possibly at
websites outside an organization, DSS can retrieve, process and utilize data

efficiently to assist decision making

Information System

The term Information System (IS) refers to a system of people, data

records and activities that process the data and information in an
organization, and it includes the organization's manual and automated
processes. In a narrow sense, the term information system (or computer-
based information system) refers to the specific application software that is
used to store data records in a computer system and automates some of
the information-processing activities of the organization. Computer-based
information systems are in the field of information technolgy

There are various types of information systems, for example

Transaction processing systems,

Decision support systems
Expert system
Management information system
office information systems

Decision Support System

Decision Support Systems (DSS) are a specific class of computerized

information systems that supports business and organizational decision-
making activities. A properly-designed DSS is an interactive software-
based system intended to help decision makers compile useful information
from raw data, documents, personal knowledge, and/or business models to
identify and solve problems and make decisions.


Improves personal efficiency

Expedites problem solving(speed up the progress of problems solving in an
Facilitates interpersonal communication
Promotes learning or training
Increases organizational control
Generates new evidence in support of a decision
Creates a competitive advantage over competition
Encourages exploration and discovery on the part of the decision maker
Reveals new approaches to thinking about the problem space
Helps automate the Managerial processes.

Characteristics of DSS

Should support rather than automate decision making

Should respond quickly to changing moods of decision makers

Specific types of DSS

– business intelligence,

- data mining, data warehousing, knowledge management and on-line analytical


- e-business technologies, world-wide web and information technologies

The computer must support the manager and not replace his judgment.
Semi-structured problem where parts if analysis can be systematized by
Effective problem solving is interactive by a dialogue between user and system
Supports decision making at any level in an organization (operations, financial
management and strategic decision-making)
DSS can support a manager using a single PC or a large group of managers in a
networked client-server or web environment
DSS include a wide variety of analytical information systems,
DSS provide managers more control of their data, access to analytical tools
capabilities for consulting and interacting with a distributed group of staff.
linked with a large data warehouse and serves many managers within one

Characteristics of DSS

• The functions and characteristics of DSS vary significantly due to the

• of application domains. Turban and Aronson (1998) summarized ten
• characteristics of common DSS as follows:
• (1) Dealing with ill-structured decision problems;
• (2) Supporting managers at different levels;
• (3) Supporting decision groups and individual decision makers;
(4) Supporting a variety of decision styles and processes;
(5) Adaptability and flexibility in carrying out a decision support task and
approach of the users;
(6) Interactive and user-friendly to allow non-technical decision makers to
interact easily with it;
(7) Combining the use of models and analytic techniques;
(8) Combining the use of artificial intelligence and knowledge base;
(9) Accessing a wide variety of data sources; and
(10) Integration and Web connection.

Components of DSS

Database Management System. DBMS manipulates, updates, maintains and

disseminates data.

-internal data generated by TPS

-external data from newspapers,census data, tax codes, census figures,


-online data services

-databases (finance, marketing, HR and others)

Model Management systems – Stores and accesses models that managers use
to make decisions e.g. manufacturing facility,analysing financial status,
forecasting demand for product or service, determining quality of products.
Expert knowledge –Expert systems (Artificial Neural Network –knowledge based)
Support tools -Online help, pull-down menus,user interfaces, graphical analyses,
error-correction mechanisms – facilitates user’s interactions with the
system. Interfaces –important support tools

Three DSS Objectives

1. Assist in solving semistructured problems

2. Support, not replace, the manager

3. Contribute to decision effectiveness, rather than efficiency

Functions of a DSS

Model building –Decision makers identify input variables, interrelationsips

amongst variables, problem assumptions and constraints
E.g. sales forecasting- input variables such as demand, cost and profit,
assumptions (e.g. prices of raw materials increase by 5% over forecasting
period), identify constraints e.g. production capacity of plant. All information
integrated within system

Organizational goals

Organizational Organizational
effectiveness efficiency

Decision-making Decision
effectiveness making

Quality of use

Attittude of DSS

Intelligence Information Process

Quality Quality Quality

A DSS Model
Individual Other
problem group
solvers members

Report GDSS
Mathematical GDSS
writing software
Models software


Data Communication Information
Legend :

Management Information System

MIS is a system or process that provides the information necessary to manage

an organization effectively. MIS generates are generally considered
essential component of prudent and reasonable business decision
Management Information System (M.I.S.) is basically concerned with processing
data into information.which is then communicated to the various
Departments in an organization for appropriate decision-making.


According to Philip Kotler "A marketing information system consists of people,

equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and
distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision


1. It Facilitates planning : MIS improves the quality of plants by providing relevant

information for sound decision – making . Due to increase in the size and

complexity of organizations, managers have lost personal contact with the
scene of operations.
2. In Minimizes information overload : MIS change the larger amount of data in to
summarized form and there by avoids the confusion which may arise when
managers are flooded with detailed facts.
3. MIS Encourages Decentralization : Decentralization of authority is possibly
when there is a system for monitoring operations at lower levels. MIS is
successfully used for measuring performance and making necessary
change in the organizational plans and procedures.
4. It brings Co ordination : MIS facilities integration of specialized activities by
keeping each department aware of the problem and requirements of other
departments. It connects all decision centers in the organization .

Application of MIS

Strategy Support
While computers cannot create business strategies by themselves they can
assist management in understanding the effects of their strategies, and
help enable effective decision-making.
Data Processing
Not only do MIS systems allow for the collation of vast amounts of
business data, but they also provide a valuable time saving benefit to the
workforce. Where in the past business information had to be manually
processed for filing and analysis it can now be entered quickly and easily
onto a computer by a data processor, allowing for faster decision making
and quicker reflexes for the enterprise as a whole

Expert System

An expert system is software that attempts to reproduce the performance

of one or more human experts, most commonly in a specific problem
domain, and is a traditional application and/or subfield of artificial


Provides consistent answers for repetitive decisions, processes and tasks

Holds and maintains significant levels of information
Encourages organizations to clarify the logic of their decision-making
Never "forgets" to ask a question, as a human might
Can work round the clock
Can be used by the user more frequently
A multi-user expert system can serve more users at a time


Lacks common sense needed in some decision making
Cannot make creative responses as human expert would in unusual
Domain experts not always able to explain their logic and reasoning
Errors may occur in the knowledge base, and lead to wrong decisions
Cannot adapt to changing environments, unless knowledge base is changed

Application of Expert system

Expert systems are designed and created to facilitate tasks in the fields of
accounting, medicine, process control, financial sevices, production, human
resources etc. Indeed, the foundation of a successful expert system
depends on a series of technical procedures and development that may be
designed by certain technicians and related experts.
A good example of application of expert systems in banking area is expert
system for mortgages. Loan departments are interested in expert systems
for mortgages because of the growing cost of labour which makes the
handling and acceptance of relatively small loans less profitable. They also
see in the application of expert systems a possibility for standardised,
efficient handling of mortgage loan, and appreciate that for the acceptance
of mortgage there are hard and fast rules which do not always exist with
other types of loans.

Difference between DSS and MIS

The essential difference between the two is in focus. DSS, as the term
indicates, is about leadership and senior management in an organization
providing good, reliable judgment as well as vision.
MIS, on the other hand, is about focusing on the actual flow of information itself.

Factor to consider when designing a DSS

According to Mallach , one should consider the following before starting

to design a DSS:

1. One should first determine the purpose of the DSS in terms of the
decision being made and the outputs it must supply.

2. One should determine any external sources that the DSS will
communicate with and find any data flows to and from these sources.

3. Any internal data files needed should be determined . One should

determined if the data in these fields are obtained from external data
sources and if it is , specify the external sources.

4. The major processes in the DSS should be determined. If one can
understand all these considerations, you will understand your DSS as a
system. One test of this understanding is being able to draw it as a flow

1. Expert Systems and Artificial Intelligence – An Overview

1.1 Definition of Artificial Intelligence:

Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that deals with the study
and creation of computer system that exhibits some form of intelligence. It is the
process of making machine, intelligent, so that they can perform well and
efficiently in absence of human beings. It is the process of developing computer
programs to solve out complex problems by application of processes analogous
to the human reasoning process. It is like a system that thinks and behaves
rationally like human and it performs either of the following:
i. Learns new concepts and tasks.
ii. Reasons out and draws conclusion.
iii. Able to explain
iv. Process natural language.
1.2 The difference between human intelligence and Artificial Intelligence:
 Human beings think and behave rationally while Artificial Intelligence imitates
the actions and behavior of human beings and their thinking and reasoning
process. Process, which is analogous to the human reasoning process, is the
distinguishing feature of Artificial Intelligence programs.
 Human intelligence makes the computers intelligent and automates the
activities like decision making, problem solving, learning and reasoning
process so that it can remain within human control.
1.3 Characteristics of AI programs:
1. AI programs manipulate symbolic information to a large extent in contrast
to the conventional program.
2. AI program has combinatorial explosion of solution.

3. AI programs deal with real life problems to a large extent.
4. A vital characteristic of AI program is that it is easy to learn.

1.4 Introduction to Expert System: An expert system is an intelligent computer

program that uses knowledge and interface procedures to solve out complex
problems that requires significant human expertise for their solution. Expert
system is a computer that emulates the decision-making capacity of human

Often, the term Expert Systems is reserved for programs whose knowledge base
contains the knowledge used by human experts, in contrast to knowledge
gathered from textbooks or non-experts. More often than not, the two terms,
expert systems (ES) and knowledge-based systems (KBS), are used
synonymously. Building an expert system is known as knowledge engineering
and its practitioners are called knowledge engineers.
USER Expertise
Inference Engine
The knowledge engineer must make sure that the computer has all the
knowledge needed to solve a problem. The knowledge engineer must choose
one or more forms of knowledge representation as symbol patterns in the
memory of the computer.

2. The Building Blocks of Expert Systems:

Every expert system consists of two principal parts: the knowledge base and the
inference engine. Knowledge can be defined as a set of known set of facts and
figures. Any system becomes effective when the solution methods incorporate
domain specific rules and facts. The system becomes an effective problem
solver, only when specific knowledge was brought on the problem. Such specific
knowledge is called as domain specific knowledge, which leads to the
development of knowledge based system.

The meaning of knowledge is closely associated with the meaning of intelligence.
Intelligence requires possession and access to knowledge. A characteristic of
intelligent people is that they posses much knowledge. A common way to
represent knowledge for computer or human is in the form of written language.

The knowledge base an expert uses is what he has learnt at school, from
colleagues, and from years of experience. Presumably, the more experience he
has, the larger his store of knowledge. Knowledge allows him to interpret the
information in his databases to get advantage in diagnosis, design, and analysis.

The knowledge base of expert systems contains both factual and heuristic
knowledge. Factual knowledge is that knowledge typically found in textbooks or
journals and commonly agreed upon by knowledgeable people in the particular
field. Heuristic knowledge is the less rigorous, more experiential, more
judgmental knowledge of performance.

Knowledge Vs Data: Knowledge requires the use of both data and information.
Unlike data, knowledge is processed and organized.
Example: A physician treating a patient uses both data and knowledge. Data is
the patient’s record like his history, drugs given, response to drugs, different tests
etc, whereas knowledge is what the physician has learnt in medical schools and
Properties of knowledge: Knowledge is voluminous, constantly changing and it
cannot be characterized. Knowledge is organized data.

i. John is tall ≡ tall(John) This expression is an attribute possessed by a
ii. Bill hates Sue ≡hate (Bill, Sue) : This expression is a complex binary
relation between two persons.
iii. Sam has learned the use of recursion by implementing linked list in
several programming language ≡ learn_recursion (Sam,

programming_language) : This expression represents the relation
between person and more abstract programming concept.

3. Characteristics of Expert System:

High performance: The expert system should be capable of responding at a level
of competency equal to or better than that of an expert in that field
Adequate response time: The system must also perform well in a reasonable
amount of time, comparable to or better than the time required by an expert to
reach a decision.
Good reliability: The expert system must be reliable and not prone to crashes,
otherwise it will not be in use.
Understandability: The system will be able to explain the steps of its reasoning
while executing, so that it is understandable.
Flexibility: On account of the large amount of knowledge an expert system may
have. It is important to have ‘efficient mechanism’ for adding, changing and
deleting the knowledge.
Explanation: Human life and property depends on the answers of the expert
system, because of the great potential harm it can cause. Expert system must be
capable of justifying the conclusion in the same way that a human expert
explains why certain conclusion was reached. In the developmental phase, the
expert system is used to confirm that knowledge has been correctly acquired and
is being currently used by the system.

4. Components of Expert System:

Knowledge base:
It is the core module in any expert system and also the warehouse of domain
specific knowledge captured from human expert by the knowledge acquisition
module facility.
Inference engine/ Rule interpreter:
This performs the task of firing rules. It uses forward and backward chaining
method. Firing of rules causes two major things to happen:
1. Trigger another rule, thereby a network of rules are triggered.

2. It implies an action has been carried out and this adds new information to the
database of inferred facts.
User and User interface:
It helps in interpreting the instructions that the user provides and transforms them
to the machine understandable format to fetch information from the knowledge
base. Basically it provides the needed facilities for the user to communicate with
the system. The user would normally like to have consultation with the system for
the following aspects.
1. To get remedies for the problem.
2. To know the private knowledge of the system if the user is a student.
3. To get some explanation for specific queries.
Knowledge Acquisition facility:
Now a days expert system is acquiring the knowledge and performing by the
process of ‘BEING TOLD’. This is called as Knowledge Acquisition Facility (KAF).
It is a major drawback in expert system development currently. Expert system do
not have a sophisticated version of learning system.
External interface:
External interface provides communication between the external environment
and the expert system. When there is a formal condition to be enforced, it is done
via user interface. In real time expert system, where they form a part of the
closed loop system, it is not proper to expect human intervention every time, to
feed in the conditions prevailing and get remedies. The external interface gets
minute-by-minute information by using the sensors like the atomic reactors and
fighter jet aircrafts.
Explanation System:
The basic question that the user would like to ask the system is ‘Why’ and ‘How’.
The answers of ‘How’ and ‘Why’ questions are very important in order to prove
the decisions of an expert system. Students use the ‘How’ question to ask and
experts use the ‘Why’ question to verify.

Examples of Expert Systems: DENDRAL is an expert system used in the
detection of mines, MYCIN is used in homeopathy, ELIZA is an expert system
used in consultation for conversation between humans and machines.

5. Architecture of expert system: User

User Interface
External Acquisition
interface Facility

Explanation Inference
Facility Engine

Knowledge Base


6. Advantages of Expert System:

Increased availability:
Expertise is available in any suitable computer hardware or software. In real
sense an expert system is a mass production of expertise.
Increased reliability:
Expert systems increase the confidence that the correct decision was made by
providing a second opinion to human experts. This may happen when the human
expert was tired or under stress.
Reduce cost:
The cost of providing expertise for the users is greatly lowered.
Reduced danger:

Expert system may be used in environments like coalmines or atomic reactors
that might be hazardous for all humans.
Expertise is permanent unlike human expert who may retire, quit or die. The
expert system knowledge can last infinitely. The knowledge of multiple experts
can be made available to enable us to work simultaneously and to continuously
work on a problem at any time day or night. The level of expertise combined from
several experts may exceed that of a single human expert.
Steady, unemotional and complete response at all times available:
The expert system can easily explain in detail the reasoning process that leads to
a conclusion. Human beings may be too tired or unable or unwilling to do these
at all times available.
Fast response: Expert System provides fast response to any user request.
7. Limitations of Expert System:
1. Now days expert system focuses on very specific topics like computer fonts,
frotein crystallography, radiology, diagnostic skills etc. The major reason
being, difficulty in extracting knowledge, building and maintaining large
knowledge bases.
2. Lack of proper knowledge representation mechanisms or skills hamper
progress of expert system development.
3. There is no flexibility for the users to state the problem.
4. The construction process of an expert system is a laborious job, requiring a
lot of resources, though some of the expert systems have facilities of
knowledge acquisition by directly interacting with the experts. For majority of
the system, there is a need of knowledge engineers.
5. Now days, expert systems do not have any common sense knowledge or
common sense reasoning process.