Developing Expert Systems for Small Business: An Application for Selecting a Legal Form of Organization
The success and value to clients of small business counseling programs such as those offered by Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs ) and Small Business Institutes (SBls) are directly related to the ai1ailability and quality of expert advice. This article provides an overview and it explores the possibilities for PC-based expert system development with particular attention to o s1nall business application. A proof-of-concept SBDC advisory system is described. It provides expert-based advice for selecting a legal form of business organization. Issues of client usability and liability are raised. Conclusions show that the use of expert systems for s1nall business consulting offers an expanded potential for relieving already overworked consulting staff members, for offering clients quality advice, and for providing a method of training less experienced consultants.
Ebersold. B. ( 1991 ). Meeting a compet itive challenge in the frequent nyer competition. In R.
Smith & A. C. Scott (Eds.), lnnorntil'e Applications of Artificial Intelligence 3 (pp. 1 1-19). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Feigenbaum, E., McCorduck, P., & Nii, H. P. (1988). The rise of the expert company. New York: Times Books.
Frenzel , L. E. ( 1987). Crash course in artificial imelligence and expert systems. Indianapolis, IN: Howard Sams.
Grover, M. D. (1982). A pragmatic knowledge acquisition methodology. Redondo Beach, CA: TRW Defense Systems Group.
Guterl , F. V. (1986. October). Computers think for business. Technology , 30-37.
Harmon , P.. & K ing, D. (1985). Expert systems: Artificial intelligence in business. New York: John W i ley & Sons.
Harmon . P., Maus, R. , & Morressey. W. (1988). Expert Systems tools and applications. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ·
Heath-Brandt, P., Caner, S. H .. & Yozie. M. A. ( 1991 ). MCI's pricing system. In J. Liebowitz ( Ed.), Operational expert system applications in the United States (pp. 89-97). New York: Pergamon Press.
Knowledge engineering: Application qualification. (1989, August). Texas Instruments seminar at the Eleventh International Joint Conference on Artificial I ntelligence, Detroit, Ml.
Liebowitz, J. ( 1 988). Introduction to expert .Iystems. Santa Cruz. CA: Mitchell Publishing.
Martin, W. S. , Jones, W. T., McWilliams, E. , & Nabors, M. V. (1991). Developing artificial intelligence appl ications: A small business development center case st udy. Journal of Small
Business Management , 29(4), 28-32.
McCann , J. , Tadlaqu i , A .• & Gallagher, J. ( 1990). Knowledge systems iri merchandising: Advertising design. Journal of Retail.ing , 66 , 257-277.
Mentzer, J. T. & Gandhi, N. ( 1992). Expert systems in marketing: Guidel ines for development. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 20(4), 73-80.
Mishkoff, H. C., Shafer, D., & Rasmus, D. W. (1988). Understanding artificial intelligence. Indianapolis, IN: Howard Sams.
Mockler, R . J., & Dologite, D. G. (1 992). Knowledge-based systems: An introduction to expert systems. New York: Macmillan .
Muller-Boling, D., & Krichoff, S. (1 991 ). Expert systems for decision support in business start-up. Journal of Small Business Management, 29(2), 83-90.
Polfer, A. T., Dicks, D., & Holland, K. K . (1990). A practical guide to starting & managing a business in Central Florida. Orlando, FL: Business Development Associates.
Prerau , D. S. (1990). Developing and managing expert systems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Rangaswamy, A., Burke, R. , Wind, J. & Eliashberg, J. (1987). Expert systems for marketing: A working paper (Report No. 87-107). Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.
Rich, E. & K night, K. (1991 ). Artificial intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Sil verman , B. G. (1987). Should a manager 'hire' an expert system. In B. G. Silverman (Ed.),
Expert systems for business (pp. 5-23). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Springer. S., Buta, P., & Wolf, T. C. (1991). Automatic letter composition for customer service. In
R . Smith & A. C. Scott (Eds.), Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence 3 (pp. 67-83). Cambridge, M A: The MIT Press.
Sullivan , J. J., & Shively, G. 0. (1989). Expert system software in small business decision making. Journal of Small Business M anagement , 27( I ), I 7-26.
Watabe, K., Holsapple, C. W., & Whinston A. B. ( 1 991 ). Sol ving complex problems via software integration. The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 31 , 2-8.
Waterman, D. A. (1986). A guide to expert systems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Wielgos, R., &
Ragusa, J . M . ( I 991 ). A Review and comparison of selected expert system shells. (Research Report No. I ). Orlando, FL: Uni versity of Central Florida, Intelligent Multi media Applications Laboratory.