A narrative-based reasoning with applications in decision support for social service organizations

W. M. Wang, Chi Fai Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, there is an increasing demand for incorporating unstructured narratives in decision support for knowledge-intensive industries such as healthcare and social service organizations. However, most of the current research on decision support systems (DSS) mainly focused on dealing with structured data and are inadequate to dealing with unstructured narratives such as clients' records and stories. This paper presents a narrative-based reasoning (NBR) algorithm which incorporates the technologies of knowledge-based system (KBS), computational linguistics, and artificial intelligence (AI) for automatic processing unstructured narratives and inferring useful knowledge for decision support. A NBR enabled DSS has been built and was evaluated through a series of experiments conducted in early intervention of mental health of a social service company in Hong Kong. The performance of NBR was measured based on recall and precision and encouraging results were obtained. High recall and precision are achieved in the reasoning of unstructured data, and high recall is achieved for the association analysis. The results show that it is possible for inferring recommendations for problem solving from unstructured narratives automatically. Based on the approach, it helps to support knowledge workers with reliable suggestions on decision making so as to increase the quality of their solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3336-3345
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Concept association
  • Decision support system
  • Health care
  • Knowledge-based systems
  • Narrative-based reasoning
  • Natural language processing
  • Social service organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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