[1-1] Introduction

Certain questions and topics come up frequently in the various network
discussion groups devoted to and related to Expert Systems. This
file/article is an attempt to gather these questions and their answers
into a convenient reference for AI researchers, students, and
practitioners. It is posted on a monthly basis. The hope is that this
will cut down on the user time and network bandwidth used to post,
read and respond to the same questions over and over, as well as
providing education by answering questions some readers may not even
have thought to ask.

Currently this FAQ is a primarily a list of free and commercial expert
system shells, but other questions and answers will be added as they

The latest version of this file is available by anonymous FTP from
   ftp.cs.cmu.edu:/user/ai/pubs/faqs/expert/expert_1.faq  []
using username "anonymous" and password "name@host" (substitute your
email address) or via AFS in the Andrew File System directory

You can also obtain a copy of the FAQ by sending a message to
ai+query@cs.cmu.edu with 
   Send ESS FAQ
in the message body.

The FAQ postings are also archived in the periodic posting archive on
   rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/news.answers/ai-faq/expert/ []
If you do not have anonymous ftp access, you can access the archive by
mail server as well.  Send an E-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu
with "help" and "index" in the body on separate lines for more

An automatically generated HTML version of this FAQ is accessible by
WWW as part of the AI-related FAQs Mosaic page. The URL for this
resource is
The direct URL for the Expert Systems FAQ is

If you need to cite the FAQ for some reason, use the following format:
   Mark Kantrowitz, "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about
   Expert System Shells", comp.ai.shells, <month>, <year>,
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