Peter E. Friedland
Bruce B. Johnson
A major purpose of this JTEC study was to survey the use of knowledge-based (KB) systems in Japanese industry. Our goal was to determine the breadth (how many) and depth (how important to the company) of KB systems as well as to analyze the methods and tools used to develop the systems. This chapter will first survey general trends of expert systems (ES) development and use within Japanese companies, based on annual surveys by the publication Nikkei AI. We will then illustrate some of the best of Japanese industrial utilization of KB systems technology through three case studies which we believe have had a great impact upon the business of the industrial user. Next, the breadth of applications that we observed will be presented, with descriptions of application types and type-specific features. Finally, we compare and contrast our view of KB systems utilization in Japanese industry with that in the United States, attempting to note any strong trends and predict the short-term future growth of KB systems in Japan.