Full Project – Expert system for human nutrition analysis management

Full Project – Expert system for human nutrition analysis management

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1.1       Background of the Study

An expert system is a computer system that emulates the decision-making ability of a human expert. Expert systems are designed to solve complex problems by reasoning about knowledge, represented mainly as if–then rules rather than through conventional procedural code. Artificial intelligence or more specifically, expert systems, have also been developed to solve either meal planning problems or health related problems. Expert Systems (ES) are intelligent software applications that provide advice to its users through a dialog or a conversation conducted between the user and the ES application. An expert system is divided into two subsystems: the inference engine and the knowledge base. The knowledge base represents facts and rules. The inference engine applies the rules to the known facts to deduce new facts. Inference engines can also include explanation and debugging abilities. Expert systems provide a good platform to implement applications that can be at par with human expert. Since, these days‟ people tend to neglect basic health care, food consumption and overall health awareness, which serve as a motivation to create an expert system in diet and nutrition.

Nutrition is 80% of our fitness goal equation. Nowadays, human beings suffer from many health problems such as fitness problem, maintaining proper diet problem, etc. The effective personal dietary guidelines are very essential for managing our health, preventing chronic diseases and the interactive diet planning helps a user to adjust the plan in an easier way. Nutrition is getting food into the body for growth and energy, and for keeping the body healthy and living. It also includes the environmental, psychological and behavioural aspects of food and eating.

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 system should able to calculate the BMI, Body Mass Index, (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 if 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.

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.

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 artificial intelligence.

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 management science.

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.

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 the Problems

The problems that led to this study include:

  1. Six in ten people suffer disproportionate increase in their weight because of their poor nutritional habits.
  2. Studies estimates that Nigeria will be one of the ten most obese and mal-nutritional populations in the world by 2020 (Euromonitor, 2011).
  • Many people have lost their lives due to lack of appropriate dietary to stabilize the ailment they are suffering.
  1. Many people, particularly students, cannot afford to consult a private nutritional expert and to this, develop a severe health challenge.


1.3       Aim and Objectives

In view of the above mentioned problems, this project is aimed at developing an expert system for human nutrition analysis management. Some of the objectives towards the realization of the aims include:

  1. To develop a diagnostic expert system that will be used in carrying out analysis on human nutrition.
  2. The system should be able to suggest for the user his normal and balanced nutritional diet.
  3. The system should be able to aid clinicians/medical personnel in diagnostic procedures.

1.4       Significance of the study

If this proposed prototype system is fully developed, it will be very useful in many areas such as:

  1. It will help to retain the skill of an expert medical doctor in case of any eventuality.
  2. It can support academic development.
  3. It can be useful in many hospitals, both private and government, cases where the expert is not on seat.
  4. It can also be used in the laboratory for quick research work.

1.5       Scope of the Study

This work covers the procedure of an expert system for human nutrition analysis management that is capable of diagnosing ailment and placing the patient on diets based on the symptoms entered by the patient that falls within the ailments stated below.





Heart disease


1.6       Limitations of the Study

The system will not incorporate in its development all the functions of a nutrition analysis system but will focus only on the aforementioned functionalities. Other limiting factor include time, inevitability of human error and bias as some information were obtained via interpersonal interaction and research, making some inconsistent with existing realities or out rightly incorrect.

1.7       Definition of Terms

  1. Diagnose: The identifying of an illness or disorder in a patient through physical examination, medical tests, or other procedures
  2. Medical: Relating to medicine, physical examination to determine health: a physical examination by a doctor to check
  3. Expert: somebody with a great deal of knowledge, skill, training, or experience in a particular field or activity – a medical expert
  4. Knowledge-based: Information system that store wealth of one’s knowledge
  5. Artificial intelligence 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 replacing him.
  6. 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 AI. 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.
  7. Nutrition: nutrition is the combination of processes by which the living organism receives and use the food materials necessary for growth maintenance of function and repair components parts.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 system.


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Full Project – Expert system for human nutrition analysis management