An Expert System is an intelligent computer program that uses knowledge and inference procedures to solve problems that are difficult enough to require human expertise for their solution. The knowledge necessary to perform at such a level plus the inference procedures used can be thought of as a model of the expertise of the best practitioners in the field. Expert system is designed to simulate the problem-solving behavior of a human who is an expert in a domain or discipline. An expert system is normally composed of a knowledge base (information, heuristics, etc.), inference engine (analyzes the knowledge base), and the end user interface (accepting inputs, generating outputs). The path that leads to the development of expert systems is different from that of conventional programming techniques. The concepts for expert system development come from the subject domain of artificial intelligence (AI), and require a departure from conventional computing practices and programming techniques. A conventional program consists of an algorithmic process to reach a specific result. An AI program is made up of a knowledge base and a procedure to infer an answer. One of the most powerful attributes of expert system is the ability to explain reasoning. Since, the system remembers its logical chain of reasoning, a user may ask for an explanation of a recommendation and the system will display the factors it considered in providing a particular recommendation.
Developing an expert system in a specific knowledge domain is quite a difficult task as it requires team of experienced knowledge engineers, programmers as well as domain experts.Agriculture, being a very vast and varied domain of knowledge with over a hundred crops distributed in different geographic regions having varied climatic conditions, building such a team in every domain of knowledge of agriculture is itself a challenging and huge task.Knowledge engineers gather knowledge from domain experts and put it in such a form that system can use for inferring and reasoning using a knowledge representation technique. Programmers then build an online interface so that the end users can use the system over the Internet.
AgriDaksh, a tool for building online expert system is developed at Division of Computer Applications, IASRI to overcome these hurdles. AgriDaksh is available online through IASRI web site http://www.iasri.res.in or at its direct link http://expert.iasri.res.in/agridaksh/. AgriDaksh enables domain experts to build online expert system in their crops with minimal intervention of knowledge engineers and programmers. With its use, it is possible to build online expert system for each and every crop in significantly less time and resources. Online expert systems have the capability to transfer location specific technology & advice to the farmers efficiently and effectively. This in turn can reduce losses due to diseases and pests infestation, improve productivity with proper variety selection and increase in income of the farmer.Maize AgriDaksh is the first expert system developed using AgriDaksh.