Case-Based Reasoning: Business Applications


Case-based reasoning (CBR) is a problem-solving technique based on the retrieval and adaptation of cases, which are episodic descriptions of problems and their associated solutions. The five-step process entails the presentation, in which a description of the problem is input; retrieval, in which the closest-matching cases are retrieved by the system from a database of cases, or case base; adaptation, in which the problem and closest-matching cases are used to generate a solution; validation, in which the solution is validated using feedback from the user or environment; and update, in which the solution is added to the case base for use in future problem solving. CBR is seen by some researchers as better suited to knowledge-based system (KBS) design than rule- or model-based techniques. Compaq’s SMART CBR customer service application, Cognitive Systems Inc’s Prism telex classification system, and NEC Corp’s SQUAD software quality control system are described; CBR system development techniques are examined.

Communications of the ACM