Applications of artificial intelligence for chemical inference. 22. Automatic rule formation in mass spectrometry by means of the meta-DENDRAL program

"The DENDRAL computer program uses established rules of molecular fragmentation to help chemists solve complex structural problems from mass spectral data. This paper describes a computer program called Meta-DENDRAL, that can aid in the discovery of such rules from empirical data on known components. The program uses heuristic methods to search for common structural environments around those bonds that are found to fragment and abstracts plausible fragmentation rules. The program has been tested on the well-characterized, low-resolution mass spectra of aliphatic amines and the high-resolution mass spectra of estrogenic steroids. The program has also discovered new fragmentation rules for mono-, di-, and triketoandrostanes."

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