I have an in-house built job scheduling application that accepts Job configurations in form of Apache Config files (something similar to XML).

There are tons of configurations (for example a way to specify a dependency on a job, way to provide configurations related to auto-rescheduling a job on failure and many more). Currently, we store all of these features specific configurations in wiki pages. Users of this application finds Wiki pages to hard to crawl through for finding the information they are looking for.

I am thinking to create a chatbot for this? Is chatbot a correct thing for this problem, or this is just a search problem that can be solved with Elastic search by indexing all related wiki pages appropriately?

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    I think you're confusing two mostly orthogonal concepts here - even if you build a chatbot, how is it going to know what answers to give without some kind of search backend? Mar 3 '19 at 7:53
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    A chatbot is a user interface, elastic search is a search index. You could create a chatbot as the user interface for some search engine, but most search engines use a simpler “search box + results page” GUI.
    – amon
    Mar 3 '19 at 14:27

The common term for what you're describing is "expert system", or for a particular style a "software wizard". That you're talking about implementing it via text interface is just an implementation detail.

Whether it's the correct tool I can't answer: you have to decide that yourself by comparing the difficulty of creation with the value to it's users. It is worth noting that Linux has long used such a system for kernel configuration during the build process.

If you're uncertain how to begin exploring the subject, I'd suggest asking yourself if you could do it with an SQL database, and then write bits of code to fill any holes that you find.

  • As per this learning.oreilly.com/library/view/cissp-for-dummies/… "Expert systems build a database of past events in order to predict outcomes in future situations.". I don't think I want anything like that. I want a knowledge inside wiki pages to be easily discoverable.
    – user317612
    Mar 3 '19 at 14:39
  • That's behind a pay-wall, and I'm not willing to pay for it. At any rate, they defined it wrong. Expert systems query a database of descriptions, test combinations to see if they comply with the query that was directed to the expert system (as opposed to the query that the system directed to the database), and return either something like "no results", or the list of matches.
    – aerohammer
    Mar 7 '19 at 7:49
  • The bit about fuzzy logic sometimes being used is right though. At any rate, if the knowledge is inside wiki pages, that'll complicate it's usage, but you'll run into that problem no matter what you do.
    – aerohammer
    Mar 7 '19 at 7:51
  • So whats your suggestion "Aerohammer"?
    – user317612
    Mar 7 '19 at 10:59
  • For the question as stated, my answer is already posted. For everything else: If you want a quick-to-write search tool, then just do indexing on the pages. If you want to do better searching, then write an expert system. If you want to auto-generate configuration files, then extend that expert system into a wizard.
    – aerohammer
    Mar 10 '19 at 11:54

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