An expert system and processing method employing a three level hierarchical knowledge base that has a plurality of nodes coupled together. An uppermost level comprises a behavioral knowledge level, a middle level comprises a structural knowledge level and a lowermost level is an action level. Inference processing proceeds from the behavioral knowledge level through the structural knowledge level to a leaf node of the action level. One or more non-inferentially assessable utilities may be associated with the inference kernel of the expert system for accessing during inferential processing within the hierarchically structured knowledge base. A knowledge editor implements guidelines that structure received information in the desired hierarchical three level configuration. Further, interactive multimedia/hypermedia systems and methods are presented, which might be expert system based. Training and certification applications of the multimedia/hypermedia system/method are given.