Inference Engine

What Does Inference Engine Mean?

An inference engine is a tool used to make logical deductions about knowledge assets. Experts often talk about the inference engine as a component of a knowledge base. Inference engines are useful in working with all sorts of information, for example, to enhance business intelligence.


Techopedia Explains Inference Engine

Experts point out that an inference engine is different than a rules engine, which is essentially a system to execute business rules. An inference engine is often a component of a knowledge base – combined with the knowledge base, the inference engine helps stakeholders to get those logical insights from the storehouse of information at their disposal. Various vendors offer inference engine functionality for getting actionable insights for marketing and business data. Bigger companies like Microsoft also offer their own inference engine tools.

For example, an inference engine may take certain facts from a knowledge base, maybe facts about where customers are located, what products customers have bought, or what transactions have taken place, and “infer” certain logical conclusions.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.