Empirical Explorations of SYNCHEM

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Sep 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4308, pp. 1041-1049
DOI: 10.1126/science.197.4308.1041


During the past several years, a substantial body of experience has accumulated in the use of SYNCHEM, a large-scale program which is able to discover synthesis routes for relatively complex organic structures without on-line guidance on the part of its chemist user. These results indicate that the approach to computer-directed organic synthesis route discovery embodied in the program has been valid and reasonable, and that SYNCHEM is likely to be fruitful from the point of view of its intended users as well as for our research objectives in artificial intelligence. The experiments have revealed a number of insufficiencies in the program as well. Most of these are rectified in SYNCHEM2, a revised version of the program which includes, among other improvements, a more highly developed synthesis search algorithm and the routine consideration of stereochemistry.