We are developing a novel real-time expert system to monitor the performance of a triggering system in a high-energy/nuclear physics experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory (Experiment 814). The system runs on an 80386 processor that is completely independent of the data-acquisition computer for the experiment. Artificial intelligence techniques are seen as especially important for the diagnostic capability of the system. In particular, a separation of the diagnostic knowledge from the control procedures facilitates modification of the expert system and hence the diagnostic capability of the overall system. This is highly desirable as changes in the trigger conditions often occur during the course of a physics run. In addition, one of the objectives of this research is to develop a system which is capable of detecting fault conditions in a serial trigger processor and to aid in locating their cause.
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