“Case-based reasoning” is a method for solving problems by analogical reasoning. The central element in a CBR system is a so-called case base (a case database), in which problems that have already been solved are stored as cases. Such a case consists at least of a problem description and an associated problem solution.
The goal is to use the solution of a similar and previously solved problem to solve a given problem. This mimics a human behavioral pattern: Faced with a new problem, people often recall a comparable situation they experienced in the past and try to master the current task in a similar way.
Case Based Reasoning has proven itself especially in the area of incremental innovations, but also in applications for help desk systems, where it is used, for example, to diagnose and treat customer problems. More recently, it has been increasingly used in (product) consulting systems, for example in e-commerce, and for text classification.
It is considered advantageous that CBR can be applied to poorly structured and incompletely described problems.
As always when arguing by analogy, care must be taken to ensure that the proposed solutions generated by the system are adequate for the problem at hand, i.e., whether, for example, the assumptions on which the historical solution was based are still met and so on (obsolescence of knowledge).