Update on the Pathfinder Project

Reference: Heckerman, D. E.; Horvitz, E. J.; & Nathwani, B. N. Update on the Pathfinder Project. Washington D.C., 1989.

Abstract: We review highlights of research on the Pathfinder project, centered on the construction of a decision-support system for hematopathology diagnoses. The Pathfinder research team has focused its attention on the development of techniques for efficiently acquiring, representing, and reasoning with uncertain biomedical knowledge. We describe our work on the construction of a large probabilistic knowledge base through the use and extension of the belief-network representation. We present recent developments on the acquisition and representation of knowledge about the complex dependencies among findings and diseases in pathology. We also present research on the integration of heuristic reasoning strategies to modulate decision-theoretic inference. Finally, we describe heuristic and decision-theoretic evaluations of Pathfinder's performance.

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