Knowledge Acquisition by Analysis of Verbatim Protocols

  • Benjamin Kuipers
  • Jerome P. Kassirer


How does an expert physician reason about the mechanisms of the body? We are exploring the hypothesis that the physician has a cognitive “causal model” of the patient: a description of the mechanisms of the human body and how they influence each other. This causal model, incorporating the expert’s knowledge of anatomy and physiology, can be used to simulate the normal working of the body, its pathological behavior in a diseased state, and the idiosyncracies that characterize a particular patient. The causal model supports the expert performance of the physician by simulating the possible courses of the patient’s disease and treatment, by serving as a coherency criterion on hypotheses about the patient’s state, and by providing a common framework for explanations and discussion among physicians.


Hydrostatic Pressure Nephrotic Syndrome Knowledge Representation Interstitial Space Causal Model 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Kuipers
    • 1
  • Jerome P. Kassirer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencesUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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