25th Anniversary of the DENDRAL Project--Lenat, Davis, Wiederhold, Hart, Amarel, Flatt, Levinthal, Bobrow, Rindfleisch--Session #4
Feigenbaum, Edward A. and Lenat, Douglas B.
DENDRAL was an influential project in artificial intelligence (AI) of the 1960s, and the computer software expert system that it produced. Its primary aim was to study hypothesis formation and discovery in science. For that, a specific task in science was chosen: help organic chemists in identifying unknown organic molecules, by analyzing their mass spectra and using knowledge of chemistry. It was done at Stanford University by Edward Feigenbaum, Bruce Buchanan, Joshua Lederberg, and Carl Djerassi, along with a team of highly creative research associates and students. The software program DENDRAL is considered the first expert system because it automated the decision-making process and problem-solving behavior of organic chemists. The project consisted of research on two main programs Heuristic Dendral and Meta-Dendral, and several sub-programs. It was written in LISP (programming language), which was considered the language of AI because of its flexibility.