Expert System For Human Nutrition Analysis

Medical and Health Science Project and Seminar Material

Medical and Health Science Project and Seminar Material


This research work is to develop an expert system for human nutritional diagnosis which will be developed in C++ using a service-oriented architecture. The software is an expert system with a database containing an expert knowledge. The system runs on computer devices (laptop, desktop) and offers smart features that evaluate the nutritional condition of an individual by assessing their physical characteristics and eating habits. We explain the knowledge engineering process used to develop the system, overview the system architecture and selected design tools, and summarize some preliminary results from the implementation

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Cover page
  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Table of content
  • Abstract

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background of the research
  • 1.2 Statement of research problem
  • 1.3 Aim and Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research Motivation
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • 1.9 Organisation Of The Work

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Review of concept
  • 2.2 Review of related work
  • 2.3 Empirical studies
  • 2.4 Theoretical framework
  • 2.5 Summary of the review

Chapter Three:

System Analysis And Design

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Feasibility study for a standard fish farm
  • 3.3 Method of data collection
  • 3.4 Data preparation
  • 3.5 Program structure
  • 3.6 File maintenance module
  • 3.7 Main menu specification
  • 3.8 Problem of the existing system
  • 3.9 Justification for the new system
  • 3.10 System modeling
  • 3.11 Information flow diagram
  • 3.12 System flow chat
  • 3.13 Activity diagram
  • 3.14 Program flow chart
  • 3.15 Database specification and design

Chapter Four:

System Testing And Documentation

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Program language justification
  • 4.3 Systems requirement
  • 4.4 Implementation details
  • 4.5 Procedure testing plan

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • Bibliography
  • Source code

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

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 expert system is implemented using the C++ Expert System Shell, libraries (Laboratories 2012) and the C++ programming language running as a Web Service on a Window Web Server. The system calculates the BMI, Body Mass Index, as in Eq. 1 (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 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.

1.1 Background of Study

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.

A wide variety of methods can be used to simulate the performance of the expert however common to most or all are

  1. The creation of a so-called “knowledgebase” which uses some knowledge representation formalism to capture the subject matter experts (SME) knowledge and
  2. A process of gathering that knowledge from the SME and codifying it according to the formalism, which is called knowledge engineering. Expert systems may or may not have learning components but a third common element is that once the system is developed it is proven by being placed in the same real world problem solving situation as the human SME, typically as an aid to human workers or a supplement to some information system.

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.

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 Research

The eating habits of today’s Nigeria society are alarming. Obesity rates have increased making our country one of the most obese populations in the African region. Six in ten people suffer a disproportionate increase in their weight because their poor nutritional habits (CACIA 2012). The prevalence of obesity, BMI > 30, is 59 percent (Rosero 2009). Studies estimates Nigeria will be one of the ten most obese and mal-nutritional populations in the world by 2020 (Euromonitor 2011).

This reality makes it essential to raise public awareness about the need for a much needed dietary improvement and encourage preventive care. Many people, and particularly students, cannot afford to consult a private nutritional expert (Morales 2012). One problem in healthcare is the lack of availability for frequently health monitoring. Health software offers less expensive solutions reducing the physician-patient physical relation and provides monitoring solutions. This system can help facilitate the distribution of nutritional information, learn to assess their own nutritional level, and acquire better eating habits to improve their current condition (CIGA 2007) and (Salud 2003).

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.

1.3 Aim and Objective of Research

The following points serves as the aim and the objectives of this research work.

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

1.4 Research Motivation

The researcher was motivated to research on this topic “expert system for human nutrition analysis” because of his encounter on same issues and due to the difficulties I had, before I could get an analysis of my nutrition, I had to go a long distance to a nearby clinic and then diagnose, while I was being diagnose by the doctor I had a thought “what if I do such a system , one that can tell the human nutrition analysis an expert system” from then onward I have seek for solution to my thoughts. Therefore, with this research work I hope to achieve my expectation.

1.5 Significance of Research

If this proposed prototype system is fully developed, 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.

1.6 Scope of the Project

The scope of this work will include the following

  1. A dynamic database system that can act as a knowledge based system
  2. A complete model of an expert system to portray sample analysis
  3. This system is based on human nutrition analysis

1.7 Limitations of the Study

The major constraint faced during the implementation of this work was finance. This is among other frustrations such as program failures during modular construction stages. Time was another important factor that limited the extent to which I want to research.

1.8 Definition of Terms/Variables


The identifying of an illness or disorder in a patient through physical examination, medical tests, or other procedures


Relating to medicine, physical examination to determine health: a physical examination by a doctor to check


Somebody with a great deal of knowledge, skill, training, or experience in a particular field or activity – a medical expert


Information system that store wealth of ones knowledge

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.

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 A1. 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.


Nutrition is the combination of processess by which the living organism receives and use the food materials necessary for growth maintenance of function and repair components parts


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.


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.

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.


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.

1.9 Organisation Of The Work

This work is organized in five chapters and appendices as follows:

Chapter One:

In this section the introduction to the work is made and the whole idea of this research work presentation, like objective of the study, statement of the research area of coverage limitation and definition of terms all this makes up the chapter one.

Chapter Two:

This section deals with the review of study, review of concept, theories upon which this work is built on as its theoretical framework, the empirical study for this work and some potential issues in the study.

Chapter Three:

This section talks about the software tools used in the project the design pattern that will be employed to the design the algorithm to be followed in the design and all the software framework.

Chapter Four:

In this chapter the system is implemented and presented with its analysis. Functions of the system and the operation of the system is also, in depth explained for reader understating and comprehension. The system requirement is also detailed and the platform at which the system can run on.

Chapter Five:

This chapter summaries the whole work done and make possible recommendation and suggest other points to be included into the work for future propose

Chapter Five

Summary And Conclusion

5.1 Summary

The system is a useful tool for educating users on nutritional related topics and could potentially allow the creation users nutritional status database of approximately 39,000 users. The end-user application was built on a windows OS platform with a simple and efficient human-device interface. The system was built using only open source tools and services on the windows platform.

The application validation was performed through exhaustive running experiments. In the testing phase, we considered the system functionality and user experience.

5.2 Conclusion

The system was evaluated and tested and found accurate as required by the researcher. The evaluations were conducted on two non-nutritional- expert users. The end users or test subjects showed positive results when using the application for a period of two weeks (increasing the nutritional performance indicator). The system caused an improvement on the eating habits of the two users by focusing their constant attention on the healthy activities recommended by the program during a three weeks period.

While there were some habit inconsistencies throughout the first week, the trend improved over the two weeks. The incorporation of an automatic notification feature caused a significant improvement in the third week.

Despite the encouraging results, additional experimentation and a larger sample are needed. The expert system must be published, and then the prototype will be evaluated using a more representative sample of the population.
Last, it would be interesting to incorporate some machine learning capabilities (i.e. neural networks). The system could learn from each user and use this information to enhance future diagnoses and diets.

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