Although many papers have been published on the subject of expert systems, relatively few of them have been concerned with systems which failed. In this paper some of the major reasons why expert systems fail are described, along with some techniques for alleviating these problems. Expert system developments fail for the same reasons as conventional software systems. However, they may also fail because the problem they are dealing with is not or cannot be understood, because they require common sense or knowledge of the limitations of their knowledge, because they cannot be tested, or because they cannot or will not be trusted.
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