by D G Toll, school of engineering and applied science, University of Durham. This paper was first published in GE’s April 1990 edition.
Expert systems for geotechnical engineers are reviewed and the future role of such systems in engineering practice is discussed.
Expert system technology is still new to civil engineers, and there is a perception barrier which needs to be broken down before it will be accepted by practising engineers. This is partly due to the fact that there are, as yet, no useful working systems for civil engineering applications, and partly due to fears that intelligent systems could take over the jobs of experience engineers in the future.
In this paper the role which expert systems should play in geotechnical engineering is discussed and a review is made of systems which have been developed.