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More Intelligent Statistical Software and Statistical Expert Systems: Future Directions

Gerald J. Hahn
The American Statistician
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Feb., 1985), pp. 1-8
DOI: 10.2307/2683895
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2683895
Page Count: 8
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More Intelligent Statistical Software and Statistical Expert Systems: Future Directions
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Abstract

Statistical computer programs are becoming increasingly accessible to people with limited statistical training. More intelligent statistical software is clearly needed. In this article, new or improved offerings-ranging from computer-based indexes of the literature to expert statistical systems-are discussed and illustrated. Three general levels of statistical software are differentiated: computerized statistical answering and referral services, expert guidance embedded in statistical programs, and automated statistical consultation and data analysis. The first of these is already feasible and is being implemented in various ways. Embedding expert guidance in statistical programs is a technically challenging, but highly worthwhile, undertaking. Automating statistical consulting and data analysis in the form of a statistical expert system is fraught with difficulties; the best chances of success appear to be in researching specialized modules. Possible features of an expert system module for product-life data analysis are briefly described.

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