How DENDRAL Was Conceived and Born

Reference: Lederberg, J. How DENDRAL Was Conceived and Born. National Library of Medicine, 1987.

Abstract: As agreed with your organizers, this will be somewhat personal history. They have given me permission to recall how I came to work with Ed Feigenbaum on DENDRAL, an exemplar of expert systems and of modelling problem-solving behavior. My recollections are baed on a modest effort of historiography, but not a definitive survey of and search for all relevant documents. On the other hand, they will give more of the flow of ideas and events as they happened than is customary in published papers in scientific journals - accounts so dry that Medawar lugubriously calls them fraudulent {43}; cf. Merton & Zuckerman {44, 45, 61}. These authors point out that the standard scientific publication is narrowmindedly devoted to the context of justification. The DENDRAL effort (along with much of medical informatics) is dedicated to discovery: should we use a different standard for its history?

Jump to... [KSL] [SMI] [Reports by Author] [Reports by KSL Number] [Reports by Year]
Send mail to: ksl-info@ksl.stanford.edu to send a message to the maintainer of the KSL Reports.