Report Number: CS-TR-70-176
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: On generality and problem solving: a case study using the
Author: Feigenbaum, Edward A.
Author: Buchanan, Bruce G.
Author: Lederberg, Joshua
Date: August 1970
Abstract: 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
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