Skip to main content

Table 1 Implicit and explicit knowledge

From: Case-based medical informatics

  Implicit knowledge (U) Explicit knowledge (E)
Example The implicit knowledge used to recognize the face of a specific person. The explicit knowledge (e.g., textual descriptions) that would allow to recognize faces of people (including a specific person).
Complexity, Context retention Rich, grounded in reality.
High retention of context in form of salient features.
Lean, more abstract, symbolic.
Variable amount of context retention.
Acquisition Detection, learning of correlations and regularities of environment. Explicitation of one's implicit knowledge.
Explicit acquisition of knowledge (e.g., through reading).
Representation Unstructured, present implicitly in data recordings of the environment (e.g., image of a person). Varies from less structured (e.g., natural language) to very structured (e.g., formal descriptions).
Transferability Transferable only in implicit form through the data recordings (i.e., representations) of the environment. Transferable through languages (natural or formal) and communication (e.g., verbal).
Applicability Very well applicable to specific problem instances. Applicable to both, specific and more generic problems.
Processing mechanisms Pattern recognition, feature selection, associative memory. Reasoning.