User's guide to QA3


A question-answering system. Tech. Note 15, AI Group, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif.

An approach to automatic problem-solving


Before discussing in detail an example of a simple heuristic problemsolving program, the Graph Traverser, I shall give an indication of the most important work carried out in this field, stressing the more fundamental ideas. Bobrow (1964) describes a question-answering system for high school algebra word problems'. I shall distinguish four: (1) the external application problem to which the program has been applied; (2) the internal problem which the program generates from the application problem and which it must solve in order to produce a solution to the application problem (this internal problem will be an'idealised' version of the application problem, and will typically vary little from one application to another. It is important to realise that more than one internal problem may be capable of derivation from a given application problem); (3) the strategy which the program uses to solve the internal problem; (4) the translation process from the application problem to the internal problem.