Computer-assisted analysis in organic synthesis

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Science  26 Apr 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4698, pp. 408-418
DOI: 10.1126/science.3838594


The planning of alternative routes for the synthesis of complex organic molecules has been facilitated by the formulation of guiding strategies that can be applied to a broad range of problems. Analysis of organic synthesis can be carried out in the retrosynthetic direction, opposite to the actual process of chemical synthesis, or bidirectionally, that is, as a combined retrosynthetic and synthetic search. An interactive computer program is described which utilizes the general strategies of retrosynthetic analysis and an appropriate database to generate pathways of chemical intermediates for chemical synthesis of a particular target structure. Computer graphics and standard chemical structures are used for man-machine communication.