Knowledge Systems

Edinburgh's Knowledge Systems work is described here.
Note that this is an archive of the page as last updated: Thu Apr 24 2003





Knowledge Systems encompasses technologies for:

  • Knowledge Representation - from the philosophical (ontologies) to the pragmatic (business rules), knowledge of many forms needs to be represented. Edinburgh's work includes the development of ontologies, their use in applications, and involvement in ontology standards initiatives.
  • Knowledge Engineering – developing knowledge-based software systems. Edinburgh has particular skills in the use of methodologies for knowledge engineering such as CommonKADS, in the selection and use of knowledge acquisition techniques, and in programming knowledge-based software systems.
  • Knowledge Management – identifying the use of, or need for knowledge in an organisation, and proposing strategies to make knowledge more widely available. Edinburgh’s approach draws on methods and techniques that use rich modelling of knowledge, such as ontologies (for example, an ontology of skills has been developed), multi-perspective modelling (in both senses of “perspective” – different viewpoints on the same artifact, or different opinions of a single concept), and established knowledge engineering methods. Applications include a skills management tool, validation of business models, and web-based information services.
  • Learning - knowledge and learning are inter-related, and Edinburgh's work on learning in timetabling and information extraction problems and case-based reasoning makes use of knowledge.



Edinburgh Associations

  • Department of Biomedical Sciences for work on BioInformatics;
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics, School of Law, and Glasgow Caledonian University Law Department who jointly hold a grant to operate the Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning.
  • University of Edinburgh Management School, teaching “Knowledge Asset Management through Artificial Intelligence” on the part-time MBA programme;


  • To develop practical and useful applications of knowledge systems technology;
  • To research, analyse, test and apply novel techniques for knowledge systems;
  • To transfer the technology developed for knowledge systems by the University to industry, commerce and government.


Past Projects

  • EuroKnowledge -- an ESPRIT project for coordinating the standardisation effort for European knowledge level standards.
  • Formation - a system to lay out all British Telecom Yellow Pages directories and to create a new business area for Pindar Set Ltd for responsive marketing support and catalogue layout systems. Winner of an award for innovative applications of AI in 1998.
  • Fraud Detection - Case-Based Reasoning has been applied to screen applications for financial products with MCL Software.
  • Air Operations Enterprise Modelling, part of the DARPA-sponsored JFACC programme, working with BBN Technologies and others. A password is required for this project's website. 
  • AUSDA -- analysing and integrating software development approaches
  • TOPKAT -- linking knowledge acquisition with CommonKADS knowledge representation
  • CATALYST -- helping selected companies to understand and apply the CommonKADS methodology
  • ISAT (WP1 and 2) -- modelling, and identifying capabilities within, air campaign planning by the USAF

UK Programme Involvement

  • BCS Specialist Group on Artificial Intelligence – conference committee.

International Programme Involvement

AIAI, School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, Informatics Forum, Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, UK.

Page maintained by Austin Tate (, Last updated: Wed May 18 09:08:57 2016