Please Make a Donation:
Support This Project

Hosted by:
Get Python Knowledge Engine (PyKE) at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads

Question Bases

Question bases contain questions for end users. These questions can be of various types (e.g., yes/no, multiple_choice). The questions may be parametrized, with the parameter values substituted into the question text when the question is asked. In this case, different parameter values are treated as different question statements.

The answers to all questions are automatically remembered so that if multiple rules ask the same question, the end user only sees it once. These answers are erased when an engine.reset is done.

Finally, questions may have reviews attached to them to automatically display different canned messages (with parameter substitution) depending on the end user's answer.

KQB files

Each question base is defined by a .kqb file. The name of each question base is the filename of the .kqb file (with the .kqb suffix removed). This must be a legal Python identifier.

These .kqb files are compiled and loaded automatically when you create your knowledge_engine.engine object.

The .kqb file contains all of the information about the question needed to ask the question, validate the answer, and output the appropriate review text.

The .kqb file also specifies which parameter contains the answer. All parameters, except this one, must be bound to values before testing the question.


In writing a program to diagnose car problems, you might have a user_question question base with questions like:

    Can you start the engine?
    $ans = yn

    How many miles are on the car?
    $ans = integer(1-999999)
    200000- ! Wow, that's a lot of miles!

noise_from($location, $ans)
    Do you hear a noise from $location?
    $ans = yn

These would look like the following statements within rules:

user_question.noise_from('under the hood', False)

Presenting Questions to Your End Users

Pyke provides two modules to actually present a question to your end user:

  • ask_tty

    This presents the question on stdout and reads stdin for the answer.

  • ask_wx

    This presents the question in a dialog box for use with wxpython.

You may write your own module to present questions to end users. Look at the modules provided by Pyke for guidance.

To ask a question, Pyke looks for an ask_module attribute on:

  1. the question_base object, then
  2. the knowledge_engine.engine object

If the knowledge_engine.engine object does not have an ask_module attribute, ask_tty is imported (by default) and stored there.

Here's an example of setting this attribute:

>>> from pyke import knowledge_engine
>>> from pyke import ask_wx

>>> engine = knowledge_engine.engine(__file__)
>>> engine.ask_module = ask_wx


Fact Bases

Explanation of facts and fact bases.

Rule Bases

Explanation of rule bases, overview of .krb files and how these files are compiled and loaded into your Python program.

Question Bases

Explanation of question bases and .kqb files.


Explanation of the special knowledge base.

Page last modified Fri, Mar 05 2010.