Hypermedia, object-oriented programming, and object databases are new and promising trends in information processing. Behind each of these trends a programming paradigm supporting a different approach in the design and implementation of programs based on it. In this article, we consider possibilities to combine the most interesting features from these paradigms, and to apply the result to the development of knowledge-based systems. We call the combined paradigm hyperobjects.
We have applied hyperobjects to an application performing knowledge-based condition monitoring and fault diagnosis on marine diesel engines. The application is called FAKS (Fault Avoidance Knowledge System). The prototype of the system was developed in the Technical Research Centre of Finland in cooperation with a Finnish diesel engine manufacturer Wärtsilä Diesel. Further development of FAKS, as a commercial product, have been made by Tiihonen Software Company Ltd and Wärtsilä Diesel. The first FAKS installation was delivered to a German rail ferry, Railship III, at the end of February 1990.