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JESS ®, the Rule Engine for the JavaTM Platform

Jess Wiki: Facts Are Not Objects

Jess inherits a lot of object-oriented behavior from Java, but it is not itself an object-oriented system. Facts are not objects. Relating them as if they were objects will result in rules that may have bugs, are difficult to understand, and next-to-impossible to maintain. Expert systems work by matching patterns and, if you think about it, patterns are not dissimilar to queries on a database. If the facts in the expert system are composed using an entity-relational model similar to that used in a database representation, the rules will become easier and more natural to express. This can be seen more easily in the following examples:

FactsAreNotObjectsAntiPattern How NOT to represent data using facts.
FactsAreNotObjectsPattern How to represent data using facts.

Submitted by:
GeorgeWilliamson
Union Pacific Railroad
gawillia@up.com



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