CompSci 171: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence - Fall 2009

blog on Q&A for this class

Note Board:

There will be a makeup Quiz on Th 12-3.
(All chapters except chapter 13)

CompSci 171 Max Welling

Organization Policies Topics Homeworks Slides Grading

1. Organization (back to top)

Instruction begins on Th. Sept 24.

Lecture: Tu/Th, ICS 174

Dicussion sections: M, 1-1:50 & 2:2.50 pm, ICS 180

Instructor: Max Welling (; offiice hour: Wed 1-2pm Bren Hall 4028

Teaching Assistant: Yutian Chen (, office hours: Mondays, 3-4:30pm DBH 4059

2. Policies (back to top)


There is one required textbook for the course:

Artificial Intelligence, A Modern Approach.
Second Edition, by Russel and Norvig (Prentice Hall).

The textbook explains the subject material in detail. It is strongly recommended that you read the book. It is strongly recommended that you read the book and attend all lectures and all meetings of your discussion section. You will be responsible for all material covered in the lectures and discussion sections, and for all assigned reading in the book.


- 2Quizzes (15%)
- One project (20%)
-A midterm (20%)
-A Final Exam (40%)
-Homework (5%) but mandatory

These are guidelines intended to help students plan their work in this course.
However, the instructor does reserve the right to make changes in these evaluation criteria.

A work-related conflict is NOT a valid reason for postponing an examination.
Please bring your student ID to all examinations.

Graded Quizzes and Assignments:

Can be picked up at the discussion section

Grading Disputes:

Turn in your work for regrading at the discussion section to the TA within 1 week.
Note: we will regrade the entire paper: so your new grade could be higher or lower.

Questions on Grading:
For any questions regarding grades, please contact the TA during his office hours or at the end of the discussion sections.

Obtaining Assistance:
The best way to get your questions answered is by coming to lecture, discussion or office hours and asking them there.

Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss his or her specific needs. Also contact the Disability Services Center at (949) 824-7494 as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Class announcements will be made in lecture and in discussion. Important announcements will also be posted on this class Web page.
The Web page will contain the most up-to-date course information.
Any corrections or additional explanations for the homework assignments will also be posted there,
so please check the Web page occasionally to stay up to date.

Homework and Handouts:
The homework assignments are regularly posted on the Web.

Some homework problems may be difficult. Homework that is turned in should be legible and well-written.
A badly written, poorly presented solution to a problem is of little value even if it happens to be correct.

The homework problems are an integral part of the course. They complement the material covered in the lectures by providing examples, applications, and extensions. You are strongly encouraged to attempt all problems. Even if you cannot solve them, if you have tried hard to solve them you may be more likely to understand and remember the solution. Our brains learn something while attempting to solve a problem, even (and perhaps especially) during failed attempts. So do not get discouraged if a problem is difficult.

Homework will not be graded. However, you are required to turn in your homework through the EEE dropbox. You cannot pass this class without having attempted all homework assignments. You will find that you will score much higher on quizzes and other exams if you take you r homework seriously.

Discussion Section:
You must be registered for a discussion section. The discussion section provides you with an opportunity to ask questions about the lecture material. It is strongly recommended that you attend a discussion section regularly. You are responsible for all material covered there.

Academic Honesty:
All work done on quizzes, midterms and finals should be your own work. Cheating on any kind of in class examination will be taken very seriously.
Any such incident will result in a letter describing the incident which is placed in your file on campus.
Depending on the severity of the incident, the resulting grade can range from an F on the particular
examination to an automatic F in the course. Additional penalties may also be imposed by the department and the university.
Very severe incidents of academic dishonesty can result in suspension or expulsion from the university.

ICS Change of Grade Option Policy:
The ICS departmental deadline for any ICS major to change their grade option is the end of 6th week with instructor's approval. Dean's signature (available at the ICS Student Affairs office) will be required after the deadline and the ICS Student Affairs office does not allow a change of grade option for any course after 6th week, unless the student has documented a medical or financial hardship.

ICS Add Deadline:
The ICS departmental deadline for any ICS major to add an ICS course is the end of 3rd week with instructor's approval. Any course additions after the 3rd week of classes requires Dean's signature and careful review by the ICS Student Affairs office. If you are adding a course after the 3rd week, please go to the ICS Student Affairs office.

4. List of Topics (back to top)

The following represents a very preliminary syllabus. Expect significant changes.

Lecture 1. Introduction: Goals, history (Ch.1)

Lecture 2. Agents (Ch.2)

Lecture 3-4. Uninformed Search (Ch.3)

Lecture 5-6 Informed Search (Ch.4 NOT  sec.4.5 and after)

Lecture 7-8. Constraint satisfaction (Ch.5). -- project starts

Lecture 9 Games (Ch.6)

Project Description [doc] [pdf]

Lecture 10. Midterm

Lecture 11-12. Propositional Logic (Ch.7 NOT "circuit based agents" on page 227 and after)

Lecture 13-14. First Order Logic (Ch.8 NOT sec. 8.4 and after)

Lecture 15-16. Inference in first order logic (Ch.9 NOT including "Completeness of Resolution" and after, p.300)

Lecture 17-18. Uncertainty (Ch.13)

Lecture 19 Philosphical Foundations (Ch 26)

Lecture 20 AI: Present and Future (Ch 27)

Final: Tu. Dec 8, 4-6 pm

5. Homeworks (back to top)

TA's website with solutions to HW and Quizzes.

week 1: Lec-1 (Th. Sep.24):
Read Chapter 1 & 26, and the blog entry on "intelligence".
Form an opinion about whether you think human intelligence & consciousness will ever be possible in machines.

Lec-1 : Read Chapter 2, answer 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6 (due Monday Oct 5 before discussion section).
Lec-2: Read Chapter 3 until sec. 3.4, answer 3.1, 3.3., 3.5 (due Monday Oct5 before discussion section)
HW1 solutions

Lec-1: Read Appendix A1 & Chapter 3. Homework [doc] [pdf](due Monday Oct 12 before discussion section)
Lec-2: Read Chapter 4 (read it all but required material is until 4.5).
HW2 solutions

Lec-1/2: Chapter-4 Homework [doc][pdf] (due Monday Oct 19 before discussion section)
HW3 solutions

Lec-1/2: Read Chapter 5. Homework [doc] [pdf] (due Monday Oct 26 before discussion)
HW4 solutions [part1] [part2]

Lec-1/2: Read Chapter 6. Homework [doc] [pdf] (Due Monday Nov. 2 before discussion section)
HW5 solutions

Project Description [doc] [pdf]

Project Testing Code [zip]

Lec-1: Prepare for Midterm
Midterm on Thursday Nov. 5 (all chapters until & including chapter 6).

Lec-1/2: Chapter 7. Homework [doc] [pdf](Due on Nov. 16 before discussion section);
HW6 solutions

Lexc1/2 Chapter 8. Homework
page 268-270: 8.3; 8.6; 8.7; 8.8; 8.15 (Due before Nov 23 in discussion section)
HW7 solutions

week 10: Quiz Tu Nov. 24
Lec 1/2
Chapter 9. Homework page 315-318: 9.3; 9.4; 9.9; 9.10a; 9.18; 9.19 (Due Nov 30 before discussion section).
HW8 solutions

week 11: No more homework

6. Slides and other Downloads (back to top)

week1: slides Chapter-1 [ppt] [pdf]

week2: slides Chapter-2 [ppt][pdf]; slides Chapter-3A [ppt] [pdf]

week3: slides Chapter-3B [ppt] [pdf] ; Dijkstra's Alg. [ppt] [pdf] ;  

week4 slides slides Chapter-4A [ppt] [pdf]; Chapter-4B [ppt] [pdf]

week5: slides Chapter-5 [ppt] [pdf]

week6: slides Chapter-6 [ppt] [pdf]

week7/8: slides Chapter-7 [ppt] [pdf]

week 9: slides Chapter-8 [ppt] [pdf]

week 10: slides Chapter-9 [ppt] [pdf]

week 11: slides Chapter-13 [ppt] [pdf]

7. Quizzes/Exams (back to top)

Quiz 1 [ppt] [pdf] ; Answers [pdf]

Quiz 2 [doc] [pdf] ; Answers [doc] [pdf]

Quiz 3 [doc] [pdf] ; Answers [txt] [pdf]

Midterm [doc] [pdf]; Answers [pdf]