Category Intelligent Software>Expert (Knowledge Based) Systems/Tools

Abstract Induce-It is a tool that creates case-based expert (knowledge based) systems from Microsoft Excel spreadsheet databases. Case-based reasoning is appropriate for applications that require the representation and storage of actual experiences. Case- based reasoning retrieves and adapts cases from a case database, based on the similarity of past cases to a goal problem case. Using Induce-It, problem-solving corresponds to the steps of

1) finding the cases most similar to the current problem;

2) adapting and extrapolating the past answers from the best cases;

3) performing the action indicated in one or more "answer" fields for the current problem.

If needed, the new problems can be easily entered as a new case. Developing an Induce-It application consists of building a case database and installing the appropriate case similarity functions into an "inductive database." Induce-It provides a comprehensive set of similarity and extrapolation functions, implemented as fast C-coded dynamic link libraries (DLLs) and accessed by a customized menu. Induce-It interfaces with all standard Microsoft Excel editing, charting, database, button, dialog, and macro commands. Its comprehensive interactive help takes you through the process of building and using a case-based application.

Additional features include:

Input/Output - Induce-It inputs are any set of cases that can be read by Microsoft Excel in any one of 13 different formats. The Induce-It output is an Excel case-based spreadsheet that represents a case database, case similarity rules, and case extrapolation and adaptation rules.

Size and Speed - With the Excel user interface, the maximum size of Induce-It case databases is about 16,000 records, having at most 256 fields. Induce-It case database retrieval is very efficient because it uses the case and field similarities as search indices.

Induce-It provides over 45 new commands (configured in 4 new Excel menu bars) for developing case-based expert systems within Microsoft Excel. Induce-It also provides an interactive 30 minute tutorial that takes you through the process of building and using a case-based spreadsheet.

Induce-It provides field similarity functions for case fields of type Symbol, Free Form Text, Number, Range, Scale, Rank, List, Hierarchy, as well as "User-Defined" similarity functions that you specify by a spreadsheet formula; case similarity functions for combining field similarities based on field importance (weighted, fuzzy, and Bernoulli scores); routines for parameterized and structural case adaptation; and utilities for concept formation (case clustering), statistics (Dixon outlier test), and case database tuning.

Induce-It Supports the following algorithms for case-based reasoning:

Induce-It runs under all implementations of Microsoft Excel (version 4.0 or higher), including Windows, Macintosh, and Sun under Solaris. Induce-It macros interface with all Excel spreadsheet commands for charting, for spreadsheet formatting and for reporting and printing. You can customize an application by specifying case and field explanations, messages, and instructions in your Excel case-based spreadsheet.

Licenses - The basic single-user license includes the case-based reasoning development tools and case database utilities integrated with the Microsoft Excel user interface macros and dynamic link libraries; an on-line tutorial; a 120 Page Manual; and sample Applications. Induce-It comes with E-mail Technical Support.

System Requirements

Requires 32-bit Windows. Some applications require Microsoft Excel for the User Interface. Libraries require Microsoft Visual C/C++.


Manufacturer Web Site Inductive Solutions, Inc.

Price Student version $85; inquire for additional pricing.

G6G Abstract Number 20044

G6G Manufacturer Number 101400