Constructing a nutrition diagnosis expert system

Yuchuan Chen, Chien-Yeh Hsu, Li Liu, Sherry Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a research of constructing a web-based expert system for nutrition diagnosis by utilizing the expert system techniques in artificial intelligence. The research implements Nutritional Care Process and Model (NCPM) defined by American Dietetic Association (ADA) in 2008 and integrate the nutrition diagnosis knowledge from dietetics professionals to establish the basics of building the rule-based expert system with its knowledge base. The system is built using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 on.NET Framework 3.5SP1 utilizing the built in rule engine which comes with Windows Workflow Foundation. With the help of this system, it is easier for dietetics professionals to adapt to the newly introduced concept of nutrition diagnosis. At the heart of the web based expert system is a knowledge base, it has a rule engine which contains the nutrition diagnosis rules converted from signs and symptoms for nutrition diagnosis from dietetics professionals and are expressed in XML format which are then stored in a SQL database. A knowledge engineer will be able to use a rule editor to add new rules or to update existing rules within the rule database. Dietetics professionals would be able to enter patient's basic data, anthropometric data, physical exam findings, biochemical data, and food/nutrition history into the program. After dietetics professionals complete nutrition assessment, the program will make inference to the rule base and make nutrition diagnosis. Dietetics professionals could then make the final diagnosis decision for the patient based on the diagnosis report generated by the web based nutrition diagnosis expert system. For this study, I have selected 100 chronic kidney disease patients under hemodialysis from a university hospital, recorded their albumin, cholesterol, creatinine before dialysis, height, and dry weight and then use these data to perform nutrition diagnosis with both the expert system and a practicing dietitian. After comparing the result, I found that the expert system is faster and more accurate than human dietitian.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2132-2156
Number of pages25
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Expert system
  • Nutrition diagnosis system
  • Rule-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications


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