Feigenbaum, E. A.

On generality and problem solving: a case study using the DENDRAL program


"Heuristic DENDRAL is a computer program written to solve problems of inductive inference in organic chemistry. This paper will use the design of Heuristic DENDRAL and its performance on different problems for a discussion of the following topics: 1. the design for generality; 2. the performance problems attendant upon too much generality; 3. the coupling of expertise to the general problem solving processes; 4. the symbiotic relationship between generality and expertness, and the implications of this symbiosis for the study and design of problem solving systems. We conclude the paper with a view of the design for a general problem solver that is a variant of the "big switch" theory of generality."See also: Stanford University Report (ACM Citation)In Meltzer, B. and Michie, D. (Eds.), Machine Intelligence 6, pp. 165–190. Edinburgh University Press