Accession Number : ADA219003


Title :   Hypothesis Formation and Qualitative Reasoning in Molecular Biology


Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis


Corporate Author : STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE


Personal Author(s) : Karp, Peter D


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a219003.pdf


Report Date : Jun 1989


Pagination or Media Count : 340


Abstract : This dissertation investigates scientific reasoning from a computational perspective. The investigation focuses on a program of research in molecular biology that culminated in the discovery of a new mechanism of gene regulation in bacteria, called attenuation. The dissertation concentrates on a particular type of reasoning called hypothesis formation. Hypothesis-formation problems occur when the outcome of an experiment predicted by a scientific theory does not match that observed by a scientist. I present methods for solving hypothesis formation problems that have been implemented in a computer program called HYPGENE. This work is also concerned with how to represent theories of molecular biology in a computer, and with how to use such theories to predict experimental outcomes; I present a framework for performing these tasks that is implemented in a program called GENSIM. I tested both HYPGENE and GENSIM on sample problems that biologists solved during their research on attenuation. The dissertation includes a historical study of the attenuation research. THis study is novel because it examines a large, complex, and modern program of scientific research. The document treats hypothesis formation as a design problem, and uses design methods to solve hypothesis-formation problems.


Descriptors :   *COMPUTATIONS , *REASONING , *HYPOTHESES , *COMPUTER PROGRAMS , *MOLECULAR BIOLOGY , GENES , REGULATIONS , SCIENTISTS , ATTENUATION , BIOLOGISTS , THESES , THEORY , BACTERIA , PROBLEM SOLVING


Subject Categories : Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
      Computer Programming and Software
      Cybernetics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE