H-FLUO is a software dedicated to solving various queries issued by end-users of spectrofluorimeters when they come across a problem in the course of an experiment. The main goal is to provide a diagnostic for the non-pertinent use of a spectrofluorimeter. Many artifacts may get the operator into trouble and except for experts, the simple manipulation of the controls of a fluorimeter results in effects not always fully appreciated. The solution obtained is an association between a powerful hypermedia tool and an expert system. A straight expert system imposes many moves between the spectrofluorimeter and the diagnostic tool. In our hypermedia tool, knowledge can be displayed by the means of visual concepts through which one can browse and navigate. The user perceives at all times his problem as a whole. We will demonstrate typical situations in which an event will trigger a chain reasoning leading to the debugging of the problem. The system is not only meant to help a beginner but can also conform itself to guide a well-trained experimenter. We think that its functionalities and user-friendly interface are very attractive and open new vistas in the way future users may be trained, whether they work in research labs or industrial settings, as it could diminish the time spent on their training. With these latest considerations in mind, we put the emphasis on fluorescence and limited the exposition of the computing aspects/hypermedia and expert system inner workings to a minimum. © 1994.
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