“It has always been my purpose to contribute as much as possible to the art and science of homeopathy. In my lectures, books and now in this repertory program I have placed my greatest efforts into providing the most useful, reliable and worthwhile knowledge.
“In this way, homeopathy will grow in a healthy way. Humanity will benefit and the next generation will have great teachers to expand on what has come before.
“With all that I have accomplished, I can say that the Vithoulkas Expert System represents the greatest contribution I’ve made to Homeopathy.” – George Vithoulkas
The VES is a powerful expert system which scans the entire library giving the emphasis specify to the Symptoms, Degrees and Rubrics. It allows us to investigate more options in a shorter duration of time and thus improving the anamnesis.
The idea of an expert system is to reproduce the reasoning of an expert in a given field. It is characterized by a database (Synthesis Repertory), and a great number of specific principles for analyzing information chosen from the database. It is developed by George Vithoulkas and a team of Homeopaths and Expert System Analysts over several years. Mind symptoms are considered more important than locals, but prominent Keynotes and emphasized symptoms has been given high importance in this expert system. It includes all the ideas that George Vithoulkas ever produced, some common to Homeopathy, others specific to his approach.
A preliminary but essential step for developing VES was the creation of the Synthesis Repertory – the basis of RADAR software. Working with a team of top homeopaths, the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Namur, Belgium spent seven years of painstaking work bringing Synthesis and RADAR to life.The excellence of their results moved George to step into computerized case analysis and develop his Expert System, building it on RADAR as a base.
Over a period of two years, the team analyzed numerous cases using George Vithoulkas’ years of experience with thousands of cured patients.
The Vithoulkas Expert System interprets a homeopath’s input to suggest which remedy questions should be asked, and it further orients their study of Materia Medica. VES then arrives at just one, possibly surprising, result. That result takes into account ALL the patient’s symptoms and is based on a consideration of ALL the remedies – whether they are the better known polychrests or a rare remedy which figures only once in a rubric.
There are four important considerations to take into account when using the Vithoulkas Expert System (VES) in order to obtain the best results.
- It is vital to indicate the intensity of the symptoms
- Do not use too many large rubrics
- Start with a minimum of 4 rubrics covering the most important symptoms
- Continue by adding symptoms one at a time.
We should always use the VES with the patient in front. The VES guides us through the interview and gives us probable remedies. It will suggest that we ask questions about certain remedies and tell us to add underlining etc. We need a minimum of 4 symptoms to run the VES. The VES will frequently draw our attention to remedies we might not think of.
We should always consider the totality of relevant symptoms and never omit symptoms that might not seem to fit the picture. There is no limit to the number of symptoms we can put on our list.
We must include mental, general and local symptoms if they are clearly present in the case. This is necessary for a highly differentiated analysis by the program. Although the VES gives many mental symptoms a higher value than average local symptoms, it evaluated the importance of local symptoms against mental symptom under several circumstances. It is because of the combination of mental, general and local symptoms that the VES can work with the highest possible accuracy.
We should introduce both larger and smaller rubrics in the analysis. If we think that the value of a rubric is connected with its size, do not worry. The VES will take this into account in its own original way.
We should differentiate symptoms by setting the intensity carefully. If we fail to do this the VES will remind us to do so. Whenever we see Causative symptoms, we should indicate them as such when putting them on our list.
The VES gives symptoms intensities of between 1 and 4.
According to Vithoulkas:
- Intensity 1: Symptom clearly present
- Intensity 2: Symptom very frequent or very intense
- Intensity 3: Symptom very frequent and very intense
- Intensity 4; Symptom very, very frequent and intense.
Once we have finished underlining all the symptoms, about 20 to 80% of our symptoms should be upgraded (i.e, have an intensity from 2 to 4). Only this will give our interview an accurate profile.
As a rule we can say:
- Not more than 80% of the symptoms should have an intensity of 1
- Not more than 80% of the symptoms should have an intensity of 2
- Not more than 50% of the symptoms should have an intensity of 3
- Not more than 20% of the symptoms should have an intensity of 4
Once we have collected symptoms on the clipboard, click on the Analysis icon in the icon bar.
Now the expert system will tell us which remedy has the highest probability. If there is no likely remedy, the VES will tell us what it needs to calculate the best probability. We may be asked to add more modalities, more symptoms or reconsider the intensities of the symptoms. The VES will then give us the most probable remedy.
The absolute score indicates how well the remedy fits the case. The score should be close to 100 or higher. The higher the score, the higher the probability that the prescription is correct.
The second number is the confidence rating. This rating refers to the remedies that have scored highly but about which you should ask more questions. The confidence rating should also be close to 100 or higher.
The lower the confidence rating, the more remedies will be suggested and vice versa.
In the Vithoulkas Expert System window the remedies are sorted into large, medium and small categories on the left and on the right you can see the rubrics that do and don’t contain the most probable remedy.
The results of the VES in RADAR OPUS are very similar to the results of the VES in RADAR 10.5, provided that the same symptoms are used in the same Repertory View with the same underlining. There may be slight differences in the scores between versions RADAR 10.5 and RADAR OPUS as we have refined some of the algorithms which were present in the RADAR 10.5. Therefore the VES suggestions in RADAR OPUS correspond more closely to the thinking of George Vithoulkas that the VES in RADAR 10.5
Since the day of its release, VES has been used by hundreds of homeopaths in their day-to-day practice – and from the beginning it has received highly enthusiastic and even astonished reactions. VES regularly finds real and unexpected cures, even in the most desperate cases.
Dr Ashish Kumar Jha
(Article on VES, published in September 2012 issue of ‘The Homoeopathic Heritage)