Production System in Artificial Intelligence and its Characteristics

A production system in AI is a type of computer program that provides artificial intelligence based on a set of rules. Do read the full article if you are curious to know more about the production systems.

Production System in AI

A production system (popularly known as a production rule system) is a kind of cognitive architecture that is used to implement search algorithms and replicate human problem-solving skills. This problem-solving knowledge is encoded in the system in the form of little quanta popularly known as productions. It consists of two components: rule and action.

Rules recognize the condition, and the actions part has the knowledge of how to deal with the condition. In simpler words, the production system in AI contains a set of rules which are defined by the left side and right side of the system. The left side contains a set of things to watch for (condition), and the right side contains the things to do (action).

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What are the Elements of a Production System?

An AI production system has three main elements which are as follows:

  •   Global Database: The primary database which contains all the information necessary to successfully complete a task. It is further broken down into two parts: temporary and permanent. The temporary part contains information relevant to the current situation only whereas the permanent part contains information about the fixed actions.
  •   A set of Production Rules: A set of rules that operates on the global database. Each rule consists of a precondition and postcondition that the global database either meets or not. For example, if a condition is met by the global database, then the production rule is applied successfully.
  •   Control System: A control system that acts as the decision-maker, decides which production rule should be applied. The Control system stops computation or processing when a termination condition is met on the database.

What are the Features of a Production System?

A production system has the following features:

  1. Simplicity: Due to the use of the IF-THEN structure, each sentence is unique in the production system. This uniqueness makes the knowledge representation simple to enhance the readability of the production rules.
  2. Modularity: The knowledge available is coded in discrete pieces by the production system, which makes it easy to add, modify, or delete the information without any side effects.
  3. Modifiability: This feature allows for the modification of the production rules. The rules are first defined in the skeletal form and then modified to suit an application.    
  4. Knowledge-intensive: As the name suggests, the system only stores knowledge. All the rules are written in the English language. This type of representation solves the semantics problem.

What are the Classes of a Production System?

A production system is classified into four main classes which are:

  •   Monotonic Production System: In a monotonic production system, the use of one rule never prevents the involvement of another rule when both the rules are selected at the same time. Hence, it enables the system to apply rules simultaneously.
  •   Partially Commutative Production System: In this production system if a set of rules is used to change state A to state B then any allowable combination of these rules will also produce the same results (convert state A to state B).
  •   Non-Monotonic Production System: This production system increases the problem-solving efficiency of the machine by not keeping a record of the changes made in the previous search process. These types of production systems are useful from an implementation point of view as they do not backtrack to the previous state when it is found that an incorrect path was followed.
  •   Commutative Production System: These type of production systems is used when the order of operation is not important, and the changes are reversible.

What are the Advantages of using a Production System in AI?

  •   Offers modularity as all the rules can be added, deleted, or modified individually.
  •   Separate control system and knowledge base.
  •   An excellent and feasible model that imitates human problem-solving skills.
  •   Beneficial in real-time applications and environment.
  •   Offers language independence.


I hope that this article gives you a basic understanding of the production systems in AI.

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