Hypothesizing Device Mechanisms: Opening Up the Black Box
Author(s)Doyle, Richard James
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I describe an approach to forming hypotheses about hidden mechanism configurations within devices given external observations and a vocabulary of primitive mechanisms. An implemented causal modelling system called JACK constructs explanations for why a second piece of toast comes out lighter, why the slide in a tire gauge does not slip back inside when the gauge is removed from the tire, and how in a refrigerator a single substance can serve as a heat sink for the interior and a heat source for the exterior. I report the number of hypotheses admitted for each device example, and provide empirical results which isolate the pruning power due to different constraint sources.
causal reasoning, theory formation, qualitative reasoning, smodeling