An Automatic Algorithm Designer: An Initial Implementation

Elaine Kant, Allen Newell

This paper outlines a specification for an algorithm-design system (based on previous work involving protocol analysis) and describes an implementation of the specification that is a combination frame and production system. In the implementation, design occurs in two problem spaces -- one about algorithms and one about the task-domain. The partially worked out algorithms are represented as configurations of data-flow components. A small number of general-purpose operators construct and modify the representations. These operators are adapted to different situations by instantiation and means-ends analysis rules. The data-flow space also includes symbolic and test-case execution rules that drive the component-refinement orocess by exposing both problems and opportunities. A domain space about geometric images supports test,case execution, domain-specific problem solving, recognition and discovery.

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