Clinical expert systems versus linear models: Do we really have to choose?

Steven Schwartz*, Timothy Griffin, John Fox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article deals with decision subsystems at the level of the organism. In recent years there has been debate as to whether linear models or clinical expert systems make clinical decisions more effectively. Previous articles in this journal have favored linear models. This article argues the opposite case. We show that expert systems are not necessarily more expensive or less accurate than linear models and that, in theory at least, they can perform many tasks that are beyond the scope of linear models. Indeed, while a linear model may serve as a subsystem of a human or computer expert system, an expert system cannot be seen as a subsystem of a linear model. We conclude that clinical expert systems and linear models are not interchangeable and users should not be forced to choose between them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • artificial intelligence
  • clinical diagnosis
  • decider subsystem
  • expert systems
  • organism


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