Experimentation in machine discovery

KEKADA, a system that is capable of carrying out a complex series of experiments on problems from the history of science, is described. The system incorporates a set of experimentation strategies that were extracted from the traces of the scientists' behavior. It focuses on surprises to constrain its search, and uses its strategies to generate hypotheses and to carry out experiments. Some strategies are domain independent, whereas others incorporate knowledge of a specific domain. The domain independent strategies include magnification, determining scope, divide and conquer, factor analysis, and relating different anomalous phenomena. KEKADA represents an experiment as a set of independent and dependent entities, with apparatus variables and a goal. It represents a theory either as a sequence of processes or as abstract hypotheses. KEKADA's response is described to a particular problem in biochemistry. On this and other problems, the system is capable of carrying out a complex series of experiments to refine domain theories. Analysis of the system and its behavior on a number of different problems has established its generality, but it has also revealed the reasons why the system would not be a good experimental scientist.