George Vithoulkas on the Vithoulkas Expert System

Computers have been used for repertory programs for the past 10 to 15 years. I was not interested in them at first, because they were running on the idea of a flat repertorization that comprised adding up the number of rubrics in a case.

This meant that whichever remedy had the most symptoms ended in first place. In most cases, Sulphur, Calcarea, Lycopodium and the rest of the polychrests came to the top of the list.

Not A Practical Method

This type of system is not very useful in actual practice, as in most cases there are a whole variety of criteria that influence how the repertory data is made into a reliable analysis.

For example, I would often see an important keynote in the repertory and suddenly I would change the whole prescription in favor of that remedy - in spite of the fact that the majority of the symptoms would suggest another remedy.

Eventually I learned that all these rules and sub-rules could be programmed into an 'expert system' that could reproduce my thinking process.

Then I said yes, I certainly am interested in helping to produce such a system.

The Work Begins

The program was conceived and executed by the Namur university of Belgium, led by Professor Fichefer. The preparatory work took seven years, and resulted in the Synthesis Repertory and RADAR software.

During those years, remedies were checked for their source and accuracy, and rubrics were updated from many other reliable sources. Even after those initial seven years, the work is ongoing. This ensures that Synthesis is and will remain the most precise repertory possible.

Developing the Expert System then took another two years. The team began by suggesting that I take a case of mine and explain why I prescribed remedy X, rather than Z, or T, or M.

I explained that certain points featured in the case more strongly than other points. They wrote down what I said and then transferred my thinking into mathematical formulas. This went on until we had created thousands of rules and sub-rules.

The Final Result

All of this work is now encoded into the Vithoulkas Expert System (VES). Since I began using this program my success rate has increased from the area of 70 - 85%, to 80 - 95%, depending on the pathology of the case.

This is because the computer never makes a mistake. It always calculates accurately and it always takes all the criteria of case analysis into consideration.

Help Where There Was No Hope

Since this system was developed, many complex cases have been brought to me - cases that had already been given many remedies. In desperation I studied these cases and thought there was perhaps no answer - that only a dismal existence of suffering was the fate of these patients.

On numerous occasions I put the symptoms into the computer and VES will say: Why not consider remedy X.

And then something amazing happens inside my mind - as if lightning has struck. I realize that the computer is finding possibilities I had not thought of before. And when I investigate the suggestion further, it turns out to be the simillimum.

I am extremely pleased with this program. It will help any practitioner in the case-taking and case analysis process.