Exploiting Background Knowledge in Automated Discovery

John M. Aronis, Foster J. Provost, Bruce G. Buchanan

Prior work in automated scientific discovery has been successful in finding patterns in data, given that a reasonably small set of mostly relevant features is specified. The work described in this paper places data in the context of large bodies of background knowledge. Specifically, data items are connected to multiple databases of background knowledge represented as inheritance networks. The system has made a practical impact on botanical toxicology research, which required linking examples of cases of plant exposures to databases of botanical, geographical, and climate background knowledge.


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