The paper describes an exploration of the possibility of embedding the rules of an expert system directly onto a commercial programmable logic array microchip. The rules are first converted to Boolean form and reduced to minimal form. An interface was developed for using the chip with an IBM PC clone for processing inputs and outputs. No control system (inference engine) is required; and the execution of an application is equivalent to parallel processing. The inputs are transferred to the input pins of the logic array chip in successive bytes of data, and the conclusions then immediately appear at the output pins. The success of the approach was verified with two small examples.
We have also extended the concept to develop an original algorithm for minimizing the number of required inputs for a specific application.
This approach to designing expert systems should have an important potential for control systems where speed is important, and also in other systems where size and speed are important performance characteristics.