Towards an integrated discovery system
Previous research on machine discovery has focused on limited parts of the empirical discovery task. In this paper we describe IDS, an integrated system that addresses both qualitative and quantitative discovery. The program represents its knowledge in terms of qualitative schemas, which it discovers by interacting with a simulated physical environment. Once IDS has formulated a qualitative schema, it uses that schema to design experiments and to constrain the search for quantitative laws. We have carried out preliminary tests in the domain of heat phenomena. In this context the system has discovered both intrinsic properties, such as the melting point of substances, and numeric laws, such as the conservation of mass for objects going through a phase change.