CS63 Artificial Intelligence
Fall 2002
Swarthmore College

Professor: Lisa Meeden
Course: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:40-3:55, Sproul 300
Lab: Fridays 2:15-5:00, Sproul 201
Email: meeden AT cs.swarthmore.edu
Office: Room 1 Sproul (basement)
Phone: 328-8565
Office hours: Wednesdays 2-4pm, or by appointment


Description, Texts, Grading, Homework Policy, Schedule

Course Description

The unifying theme of this course is the concept of an intelligent agent. Based on this perspective, the problem of AI is seen as describing and building agents that receive perceptions from an environment and perform appropriate actions based on them. This course will begin by examining the traditional methods for implementing this mapping from perceptions to actions including blind search, informed search, logical inference, and production systems.

Then the course will consider some of the fundamental problems with these traditional approaches and explore the concept of embodied agents, or robots. We will build simple, Lego-based robots controlled by Handy boards and implement behavior-based control. Finally the course concludes with an examination of various learning techniques including decision trees and neural networks.

There will be frequent programming assignments illustrating the concepts presented. Many assignments will be in Scheme, and others will be in C or Java.

Find out about examples of AI in the news



20%: Exam I 10/10, in class
20%: Exam II 11/14, in class
20%: Exam III during finals week
35%: Homework
5%: Class Participation

Homework Policy

Homework will generally be discussed and assigned in lab on Friday and will be due at noon on the next Friday. Late homework is not accepted, except if an extension is requested and granted prior to the due date.

On some homework assignments you will work jointly with other students (with each assignment I will explicitly tell you if working as a team is allowed). When you work as a team, then you and your team members may share code for that particular assignment. The team should submit a single assignment with all names clearly indicated at the top of the program file(s). All team members will receive the same grade for that assignment.

Programs will be graded with respect to both style (40%) and correctness/efficiency (60%). Good programming style includes the following features:

R&N = Russell and Norvig, P&S = Pfeifer and Scheier, P&E = Plunkett and Elman


1 9/3, 9/5, 9/6 Introduction and Agents R&N Chapts. 1-2 - Lab 1: Simple agents
2 9/10, 9/12, 9/13 State space search R&N Chapt. 3 Drop/add ends 9/13 Lab 2: State space search
3 9/17, 9/19, 9/20 Informed search R&N Chapt. 4 - Lab 3: A* search
4 9/24, 9/26, 9/27 Genetic search Mitchell Chapt. 1 - Lab 4: Genetic search
5 10/1, 10/3, 10/4 Game playing R&N Chapt. 5 - Lab 5: Minimax search
6 10/8, 10/10 Review for exam none Exam I, in class 10/10 Not meeting
- 10/14-10/18 Relaxation none Fall break none
7 10/22, 10/24, 10/25 Logic, production systems R&N Chapts 6-7
Luger Sect. 5.3
Last day to withdraw 10/25 Konane tournament rescheduled
We'll meet for lecture in Sproul 300
8 10/29, 10/31, 11/1 Problems with traditional AI P&S Chapt. 3 Konane tournament results
1st: Ryan, Chris and Oliver (23)
2nd: Renuka and Yeelin (20)
3rd: Nori, Yoshi and Andrew (17)
Lab 6: Build Lego bug
Lab 6b: Using Interactive C
9 11/5, 11/7, 11/8 Braitenberg vehicles P&S Chapt. 6 - Lab 7: Implement vehicles
10 11/12, 11/14, 11/15 Behavior-based control P&S Chapt. 7 Exam II, in class 11/14 Lab 8: Subsumption architecture
11 11/19, 11/21, 11/22 Neural networks P&E Chapts. 1-3 Extravaganza results
1st: Shannon and Dan
1st: Nori, Andrew, and Oliver
3rd: Ryan, Ben, and Chris
Robot extravaganza
12 11/26 More neural networks none Thanksgiving break 11/28-11/29 Not meeting
13 12/3, 12/5, 12/6 Philosophical foundations and the future of AI R&N Chapt. 26-27 - Lab 9: Neural networks
14 12/9, 12/10 Film: The Thinking Machine none Lab meets on Monday Continue working on Lab 9
Finals - - Exam III, Friday 12/13 2-5pm -