Data Mining

Discovering Interesting Relationships in Large Data Sets

Why do we not, since the phenomena are well known, build a "knowledge refinery" as the basis of a new industry, comparable in some ways to the industry of petroleum refining, only more important in the long run? The product to be refined is codified human knowledge.

- Donald Michie, A Prototype Knowledge Refinery

Mr. Michie calls this byproduct of expert-system engineering ''knowledge refining,'' and he finds it has already improved medical texts and suggested new assembly techniques in automation. He envisions ''machine-based craft shops set up for the sole purpose of generating new knowledge, using as their raw material both the expertise of humans and the ruminations of huge computer models and look-ahead systems.'' With such a ''knowledge refinery,'' one could begin to ''sort out the many man-centuries of mental work,'' that ''gather dust on library shelves - contradictory, disparate and indigestible'' and turn it into ''accurate usable knowledge.'' M R. MICHIE sees great danger ahead if science fails to design machines that don't convey knowledge in forms humans can grasp.
- from THEY CAN THINK, BUT CAN THEY DREAM? Book review by Susan Chace. New York Times, June 9, 1985,



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