ERIC Number: ED232859
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Apr-9
Reference Count: N/A
Model Formulation for Physics Problem Solving. Draft.
Novak, Gordon S., Jr.
The major task in solving a physics problem is to construct an appropriate model of the problem in terms of physical principles. The functions performed by such a model, the information which needs to be represented, and the knowledge used in selecting and instantiating an appropriate model are discussed. An example of a model for a mechanics problem is presented. A set of problem-analysis rules has been written which can construct physical representations for such problems. The rules are written in MRS, a representation and inference language which provides the features of first-order logic while allowing specification of Lisp implementations for data storage and inference methods, as well as allowing meta-level reasoning about the problem-solving process itself. The rules infer important features of the problem in small steps, which in turn trigger other inferences, in a fashion similar to the progression of inferences presented in the example problem. In this way, a finite set of rules serves to analyze a large set of possible problems. The physical model generated by the rules not only can drive generation of equations to solve the problem, but also can be used to generate meaningful diagrams and explanations of the problem-solving process. (Author/JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Computer Science.