The LHASA rules for finding strategic bonds in polycyclic target structures are analyzed with respect to the following question: Do the strategic bonds tend to give the greatest simplification upon disconnection, as measured by recently introduced indices of molecular complexity? The answer is yes, at least for the more general rules. This result implies that the bonds most useful for retrosynthetic disconnection can now be identified by a simple calculation rather than by application of a body of rules. It is concluded that organic synthesis, as far as described by these rules, has a mathematical basis and consequently can be considered a science as well as an art.
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