MYCIN and Dendral Expert Systems


MYCIN is an Expert System developed in the 1970s at Stanford University. It was written in LISP language as part of the doctoral dissertation of Edward Shortliffe. Its job was to diagnose and recommended treatment for certain blood infections. It was developed to assist a physician who is not an expert in the field of antibiotics for the treatment of blood infections.


The word “Dendral” is a pruned version of “Dendritic Algorithm“. It was designed and developed at Stanford University in 1965. It is a collaborative work between Edward Feigenbaum, Bruce Buchanan, Josha Lederberg and Carl Djerassi.

Dendral is an expert system developed for inferring the process of structure elucidation of chemical compounds. The primary aim was to aid organic chemists with the identification of unknown organic molecules by analyzing information from mass spectrometry graphs and the knowledge of chemistry. Dendral is not just a single program but rather a product of an interaction between two subprograms –
i. Heuristic Dendral
ii. Meta-dendral

Dendral = Heuristic-Dendral + Meta-Dendral