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A feasibility study of combining expert system technology and linear programming techniques in dietetics
Van der Merwe, Annette
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Linear programming is widely used to solve various complex problems with many variables, subject to multiple constraints. Expert systems are created to provide expertise on complex problems through the application of inference procedures and advanced expert knowledge on facts relevant to the problem. The diet problem is well-known for its contribution to the development of linear programming. Over the years many variations and facets of the diet problem have been solved by means of linear programming techniques and expert systems respectively. In this study the feasibility of combining expert system technology and linear programming techniques to solve a diet problem topical to South Africa, is examined. A computer application is created that incorporates goal programming- and multi-objective linear programming models as the inference engine of an expert system. The program is successfully applied to test cases obtained through knowledge acquisition. The system delivers an eating-plan for an individual that conforms to the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet, includes the personal food preferences of that individual, and includes the food items that result in the lowest total cost. It further allows prioritization of the food preference and least cost factors through the use of weights. Based on the results, recommendations and contributions to the linear programming and expert system fields are presented.
- Engineering