Refinement in response to validation.
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Knowledge-based systems (KBSs) are being applied in ever increasing numbers. In parallel with the development of knowledge acquisition tools is the demand for mechanisms to assure their quality, particularly in safety critical applications. Quality assurance is achieved by checking the contents of the KBS at various stages throughout its life cycle. But how does testing for quality assurance aggravate the already well-known knowledge acquisition bottleneck? The partial automation of checking and correcting the knowledge base (KB) is an obvious approach to reducing the bottleneck, but also a more routine treatment of checking will provide improved facilities for quality assurance. In addition to identifying the occurrence offaults, this paper suggests that responding to faults identified by validation is both useful and important. Therefore, refinement should be thought of as a companion to validation.