Expert system for human nutrition
analysis is an expert system for diagnosing, controlling, and monitoring
human nutrition. The system assesses the physical characteristics of
the user to determine their nutritional status and makes recommendations
for reaching nutritional requirements and a balanced diet, as a
consequence generating a knowledge database with the nutritional status
and dietary habits for the user. The system generates challenges,
alerts, and constantly motivates the user to use the application and
improve their nutritional habits. The expert system is implemented using
the C++ Expert System Shell, libraries (Laboratories 2012) and the C++
programming language running as a Web Service on a Window Web Server.
The system calculates the BMI, Body Mass Index, as in Eq. 1 (OMS 2012),
the ideal weight and physical contexture, frame size (Rivas 1991) and
uses dietary information from (Bermudez 2012). This is our base for
nutritional diagnosis on the proposed system. This system will be
developed for all users as a tool to improve their eating habits and
nutritional wellbeing. The goal is to incorporate the use of this
application into their daily lives and help them acquire and maintain
healthier eating habits.
1.1 Background of Study
An expert system or electronic diagnose
system is a software hardware system that attempts to reproduce the
performance of one or more human experts, most commonly in a specific
problem domain, and is a traditional application and/or subfield of
A wide variety of methods can be used to simulate the performance of the expert however common to most or all are
1) The creation of a so-called
"knowledgebase" which uses some knowledge representation formalism to
capture the subject matter experts (SME) knowledge and
2) A process of gathering that knowledge
from the SME and codifying it according to the formalism, which is
called knowledge engineering. Expert systems may or may not have
learning components but a third common element is that once the system
is developed it is proven by being placed in the same real world problem
solving situation as the human SME, typically as an aid to human
workers or a supplement to some information system.
As a premiere application of computing
and artificial intelligence, the topic of expert systems has many points
of contact with general systems theory, operations research, business
process reengineering and various topics in applied mathematics and
Two illustrations of actual expert
systems can give an idea of how they work. In one real world case at a
chemical refinery a senior employee was about to retire and the company
was concerned that the loss of his expertise in managing a fractionating
tower would severely impact operations of the plant. A knowledge
engineer was assigned to produce an expert system reproducing his
expertise saving the company the loss of the valued knowledge asset. An
early commercial success and illustration of another typical application
(a task generally considered overly complex for a human) was an expert
system fielded by DEC in the 1980s to quality check the configurations
of their computers prior to delivery. The eighties were the time of
greatest popularity of expert systems and interest lagged after the
onset of the AI Winter.
In like manner, developing one of such
system to represent the repository of the knowledge of a medical doctor
is as essential as any other expert system. To this end, this project,
Expert System for human nutrition analysis is a necessity.
It is also, necessary for human health
risk to nutrition to be managed effectively, because malnutrition can
cause deformed health status. In the next chapter the researcher will
highlight more on human nutrition and analysis also on expert systems.
1.2 Statement of Research
The eating habits of today’s Nigeria
society are alarming. Obesity rates have increased making our country
one of the most obese populations in the African region. Six in ten
people suffer a disproportionate increase in their weight because their
poor nutritional habits (CACIA 2012). The prevalence of obesity, BMI
> 30, is 59 percent (Rosero 2009). Studies estimates Nigeria will be
one of the ten most obese and mal-nutritional populations in the world
by 2020 (Euromonitor 2011).
This reality makes it essential to raise
public awareness about the need for a much needed dietary improvement
and encourage preventive care. Many people, and particularly students,
cannot afford to consult a private nutritional expert (Morales 2012).
One problem in healthcare is the lack of availability for frequently
health monitoring. Health software offers less expensive solutions
reducing the physician-patient physical relation and provides monitoring
solutions. This system can help facilitate the distribution of
nutritional information, learn to assess their own nutritional level,
and acquire better eating habits to improve their current condition
(CIGA 2007) and (Salud 2003).
Health care facility should be
accessible by all at all times. But some of the people that should
access these facilities are far removed from these facilities. More so,
in the few available facilities, qualified medical personnel are always
key issues that need urgent redress.
In view of the foregoing, it would be of
great necessity to provide an expert system that will provide a
complementary medical service such as human nutrition analysis system
where it can be accessed and used by the masses,, also to places where
medical attention accessibility is a problem as well as health care
facilities where qualified experts are lacking, hence this topic, Expert
System or electronic diagnosis system on nutrition.
1.3 Aim and Objective of Research
The following points serves as the aim and the objectives of this research work.
- To design a system an expert system that will be used in carrying out analysis on human nutrition.
- A system that will suggest for the user his normal and balanced nutritional diet.
- To develop modern interactive diagnostic expert system that will aid clinicians/medical personnel in diagnostic procedures.
1.4 Research Motivation
The researcher was motivated to research
on this topic “expert system for human nutrition analysis” because of
his encounter on same issues and due to the difficulties I had, before I
could get an analysis of my nutrition, I had to go a long distance to a
nearby clinic and then diagnose, while I was being diagnose by the
doctor I had a thought “what if I do such a system , one that can tell
the human nutrition analysis an expert system” from then onward I have
seek for solution to my thoughts. Therefore, with this research work I
hope to achieve my expectation.
1.5 Significance of Research
If this proposed prototype system is fully developed, will be very useful in many areas such as:
a. It will help to retain the skill of an expert medical doctor in case of any eventuality;
b. It can support academic development;
c. It can be useful in many hospitals, both private and government, cases where the expert is not on seat;
d. It can also be used in the laboratory for quick research work.
1.6 Scope of the Project
The scope of this work will include the following
1. A dynamic database system that can act as a knowledge based system
2. A complete model of an expert system to portray sample analysis
3. This system is based on human nutrition analysis
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The major constraint faced during the
implementation of this work was finance. This is among other
frustrations such as program failures during modular construction
stages. Time was another important factor that limited the extent to
which I want to research.
1.8 Definition of Terms/Variables
Diagnose: The identifying of an illness or disorder in a patient through physical examination, medical tests, or other procedures
Medical: Relating to medicine, physical examination to determine health: a physical examination by a doctor to check
Expert: somebody with a great deal of knowledge, skill, training, or experience in a particular field or activity - a medical expert
Knowledge-based: Information system that store wealth of ones knowledge
result when machines are made to thick. Artificial intelligence is a
general term, which expert systems and robotics lie. The expert system
technology has been necessitated by the fact that some human domain
experts delay some wonderful skill, which is lost whenever they die
thereby leaving the future generation with little or nothing to inherit
from their wonderful skill. Hence they need the expert knowledge of a
human being in a domain of activity to be stored in the computer such
that computer mimic the reasoning of the expert in some way reaching the
same decisions or conclusion as the expert himself and effectively
Expert System: According
to Daniel L. Stotink and his friends in a book “computer and
applications an introduction to data processing” expert system is also a
knowledge based system. It is a complex software (program), designed
to imitate the thought processes and decision making patterns of human
experts in a given field. The expert system is an off-spring of
artificial intelligence (AI) and it is developed using the programming
techniques of A1. when the expert knowledge of human being in a domain
of activity is stored in the computer. Such that the computer
repository of this expert knowledge in some way, reaching the same
conclusion as the expect himself and efficiently replacing him, an
expert system or knowledge based system results.
Nutrition: nutrition is
the combination of processess by which the living organism receives and
use the food materials necessary for growth maintenance of function and
repair components parts
Nutrition: A science of
food and its relationship to health and concerned with the part played
by food factor (nutrients) in body growth, development and maintenance.
Protein: Protein is a
body building material for all body parts, such as muscle, brain, blood
skin, hair, nails, bones and body fluids, which constitutes about 20% of
the adult body weight and made up of amino acids which main sources are
from animal source like milk, eggs, meat, fish, cheese etc, and plant
sources like pulses, cereals, beans, nuts, soya beans etc.
Health is the level of
functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is
the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when
facing physical, mental or social challenges.
Diet: In nutrition,
diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism
especially a balanced food having all the nutrients needed by the body