Full Project – An expert system for car error detection and diagnosis

Full Project – An expert system for car error detection and diagnosis

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1.1      Background of the Study

Nowadays, car technology is very crucial and significant to any car manufacturing company as car specifications are changing rapidly as stimulated by environmental and economic factors. This issue presents a challenge to both car mechanics and drivers in handling car failures and malfunctions. With the advent of new technologies like the hybrid engine, there are many changes that need to be learned. In fact, in a normal situation, car fault identification is still a challenging task, especially for the inexperienced mechanics and drivers.

Consequently, the success of finding the fault is extremely dependent on the expertise of the individual. However, the dependence on the experts can be minimized if the expertise is captured, documented, and retained in some computer applications.

Researchers, institutions, and firms focus a great deal of attention in theoretical and practical diagnosis on technical systems failure. Different types of AI techniques have been successfully applied in the diagnosis domain. The required AI techniques for such domain have to be capable of emulating the human brain’s diagnostic processes. The Expert System (ES) is one of the well-known reasoning techniques that are utilized in diagnosis applications domain. In ES, human knowledge about a particular expertise in accomplishing a particular task is represented as facts and rules in the knowledge base. It seeks and uses the information provided by a user. Reasoning process is then performed over the represented knowledge using heuristic approaches to formulate a solution.

The definition of an ES as proposed by E. Feigenbaum, Knowledge Engineering in 1980’s: Department of Computer Science, Stanford University, 1982, Stanford CA. is: “an intelligent computer program that uses knowledge and inference procedures to solve problems that are difficult  enough to require significant human expertise for their solution”. The ES is a knowledge-based system that consists of two main modules: the knowledge base and the inference engine. It usually has a knowledge acquisition module and an explanation module as extra components.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

In dealing with problems of a car problem troubleshooting, mechanics are those who can help to solve them. The use of a computer expert system is beneficial in different ways. It gives a temporary and instant guide to car owners in different situations like:

  • When mechanic support is unavailable
  • When we are in a hurry
  • When distance to mechanics location is far
  • When mechanics diagnosis wrongly, etc.

1.3      Objectives of the Study

To develop an expert system on car maintenance and troubleshooting that is capable of assisting car owners in dealing with their car problems and troubleshooting them whenever time is limited and the human experts also known as mechanics is not available at that very time.The development of the system surely has some significance to human especially those who own a car and to the system developer as well. Among others, the system will perform the following functions:

  • It will conclude its diagnosis based on answers of the users to specific question posed by the system to the user.
  • It provides facility in order to take the user opinion on the following: does the user agree with the system’s diagnosis? Does the user disagree with the system’s diagnosis?
  • It provides explanation, why and fact facility.
  • It stores the facts and the conclusion of the inference of the system and the facts and the conclusion of the inference of the user, for each case in data base.
  • It processes the data base in order to extract rules, which complete the knowledge base.


1.4      Significance of the Study

The proposed system can help inexperienced mechanics or drivers in diagnosing the fault of the car.

In addition, the system has the following benefits:

  • Expert systems help in the improvement of productivity: Having this system will enable mechanics to do more work in less time.
  • Expert system reduces the need for skilled mechanics: The repairs of a car require a high level of expertise. With this system, inexperienced mechanics can be guided to find the fault.
  • Expert systems capture the knowledge of company experts who someday will retire, resign or die.
  • Expert systems train new employees to solve problem the way experienced professionals do.
  • Expert systems are not vulnerable to problems such as fatigue, emotion and overwork, all of which plaque human experts.
  • Expert systems place expert knowledge into machine readable form, where it can be summoned at any time.
  • Expert systems give consistent result.
  • Expert systems can complete some tasks quicker than a human.


1.5      Scope of the Study

This expert system may contain certain limits and flaws, as it is only a prototype. We commonly know that a car has many parts on its body and even in the engine itself.

However, the system will only deal with problems that are commonly found in the startup state, runnable sate and movement state as the system is just a prototype, which means the function will be expanded through time. The system will also deal with cars produced from the year 1992 till date.

1.6      Limitations of the Study

  • TIME: Time frame for this work is short
  • Finance as a student
  • Limited literature in computer to assist the researcher
  • Not much work has been done in this area of computer science/ engineering.

1.7      Definition of Terms

  • Actuator: This is a device in a car that uses electricity to do sort of automated mechanical movement such as power door locks or a remote trunk opener.
  • Car Sensor: This is a technological device that dictates or senses a signal or a physical condition in a car.
  • Car Diagnosis: Is the identification of the nature and causes of problem in a car.
  • Car Brain Box: This is an electronic device that incorporates microprocessors for the monitoring and control of various functions in a vehicle.
  • Expert system: Is an intelligent computer program that uses knowledge and inference procedures to solve problems that are difficult enough to require significant human expertise for their solutions.
  • Domain Expert: The domain expert is the individual who is a professional in the field of the system being developed.



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Full Project – An expert system for car error detection and diagnosis