All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program



Business Administration


Technology, Financial Planning, AI, Computers, LISP, PROLOG, Alan Turing


The following thesis deals with an application of high technology utilizing what is known as heuristics (if-then rules) and applying them to business financial planning. The business application could be used either to determine the financial position of a firm or to determine the impact of an action (or lack of action) on the overall financial position of the firm (the hypothetical [what if?] and cause & effect).

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) is commonly misunderstood by most people. Machines do not think (at least, not yet), but follow programs (instructions) which they are given to execute. Next, an explanation of the myths of AI and why they are not true. Once AI is understood to be a "goal" of computer technology, then the basis of what appears to be intelligence (heuristic programming) can be understood and applied.

The concept of heuristic programming is further enhanced by the use of two special applications of technology. These in some detail are: first, the languages of AI: LISP and PROLOG (which process symbols not numbers); and second, the expert system (ES) called shell technology (with the "expertness" removed).

The next idea explained is the application of shell technology in the area of financial planning. The financial planning of a company is explained in terms of either the application of the expert system: to the current status of a firm or to possible hypothetical alternatives which the firm wishes to evaluate. This concept of hypothetical evaluation can be a very powerful tool in the strategic planning of an ambitious and growing firm.

Finally, what is being proposed by this thesis is simply a potentially powerful tool for business. This tool is applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is actually an embedded Expert System (ES) in a financial database; therefore, an AI/ES program. Of course, as more firms realize how useful and practical the AI/ES program really is it could lose the powerful competitive advantage that businesses which now have it possess. The AI/ES program has had many other applications in the areas not only of medicine and engineering, but education, and is just now catching the attention of the business community.

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
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