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This paper describes RaPiD, a computer-aided assistant for the design of dental prostheses called removable partial dentures. The user manipulates icons directly to indicate the desired design solution to a given clinical situation. A developing design is represented as a logic database of components in a design; expert rules are applied as integrity constraints governing valid database transactions/design alterations. RaPiD has two modes of operation: manual mode designed for educational use (at either "student" or "expert" level), and automatic, which is intended for dentists in practice. In automatic mode, the dentist enters key clinical information, after which the system takes over and completes the design. Contravention of design rules is presented to the user in a critiquing style. The critiquing style strategies form the basis for the system's use in undergraduate and graduate dental education. Critiquing strategies used include: (1) a critique is issued only when the user has completed the proposed alteration; (2) a critique is issued immediately upon the user's radical misuse of a tool; (3) critiquing dynamically without negotiation with the user; (4) critiquing requested by the user upon completion of a design session, or at certain other stages in the design process; and (5) optional critiquing, requested by the user who wishes to compare his design with that which would have been produced independently by the system. An assessment of the educational effectiveness is planned. Expanding the range of design rules in RaPiD so that it becomes comprehensive is a current priority, as is the introduction of critiquing strategies (4) and (5), as well as completion of the automatic mode of operation. The extensive use and testing of RaPID, already carried out, show it to be a versatile and robust knowledge-based system. (Contains 14 references.) (Author/MAS)

Descriptors: Computer Assisted Design, Computer Assisted Instruction, Criticism, Dental Students, Dentistry, Dentists, Expert Systems, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Medical Education, Prostheses

Autor: Fitzpatrick, F. J.; And Others


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