WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

CS4341 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 
Syllabus - C 2000


WARNING: Small changes to this syllabus may be made during the course of the term. 


This is an introductory, upper level, undergraduate AI course. We will cover general knowledge representation techniques and problem solving strategies, including semantic nets, search, game playing, rule-based systems, frames and inheritance, logic-based systems, planning, and constraint satisfaction. We will also discuss three important application areas in AI: machine learning, machine vision, and natural language processing.

For the catalog description of this course see the WPI Undergraduate Catalog.


Mon, Tu, Th, Fri 10:00 - 10:50 a.m.
Classroom KH116


Prof. Carolina Ruiz
Office: FL 232
Phone Number: (508) 831-5640
Office Hours:
Mon. 2:30 - 3:30 pm
Th. 3:00 - 4:00 pm, or by appointment


Messages sent to cs4341_ta@cs.wpi.edu reach both the instructor and the TA.

TEXTBOOK (required):


CS 2136 (Paradigms of Computation) and CS 2223 (Algorithms). CS 3133 (Foundations of Computer Science) would be helpful, but is not assumed.


Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Homework 20%
Project 1 15%
Project 2 15%
Class Participation and Pop Quizzes Extra Points

Your final grade will reflect your own work and achievements during the course. Any type of cheating will be penalized with an NR grade for the course and will be reported to the WPI Judicial Board in accordance with the Academic Honesty Policy.


There will be a total of 2 exams. Each exam will cover the material presented in class since the beginning of the term. In particular, the final exam is cumulative. The midterm exam is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 4 and the final exam is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 29. Both will be in-class exams. Collaboration or other outside assistance on exams is not allowed.


There will be a total of 4 homework assignments. Solutions to the homework will be made available soon after homework is collected, so no late homework will be accepted. You are encouraged to discuss the homework with your classmates, but you should develop and write your own solutions. You should explicitly acknowledge any sources of ideas used that are not your own; this includes books, web pages, etc. Failure to identify non-original work is considered academic dishonesty.


There will be a total of 2 projects. These projects may be implemented using any high level programming language (
Lisp, Prolog, C, C++, ...). Students are expected to organize themselves into groups of 3 for each of the term projects. Groups need not be the same for both projects. Code documentation must follow the Departmental Documentation Standard (see http://www.cs.wpi.edu/Help/documentation-standard.html).

More detailed descriptions of the projects will be posted to the course webpage at the appropriate times during the term. Although you may find similar programs/systems available online or in the references, the design and all code you use and submit for your projects MUST be your own original work.

Project 1

Design and implementation of a computer program that plays tic-tac-toe.

Project 2

Design and implementation of a learning system using:


Pop quizzes may be given during the term. Be prepared!


Students are expected to read the material assigned to each class in advance. Class participation will add extra points to students' grades.


There are two mailing lists for this class: cs4341@cs.wpi.edu and cs4341_ta@cs.wpi.edu:


The web pages for this class are located at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~cs4341/C00/ Announcements will be posted on the web pages and/or the class mailing list, and so you are urged to check your email and the class web pages frequently.


General AI

The following additional references complement and/or supplement the material contained in the required textbook. I have listed them in decreasing order of interest according to my preferences. In particular, the first one listed is my favorite one.
  1. S. Russell, P. Norvig. "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach". Prentice Hall, 1995.

  2. T. Dean, J. Allen, Y. Aloimonos. "Artificial Intelligence: Theory and Practice" The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc. 1995.

  3. B. L. Webber, N. J. Nilsson, eds. "Readings in Artificial Intelligence" Tioga Publishing Company, 1981.

  4. S. L. Tanimoto. "The Elements of Artificial Intelligence Using Common Lisp" Computer Science Press 1990.

  5. E. Rich and K. Knight. "Artificial Intelligence" Second edition McGraw Hill 1991.

  6. P. Norvig "Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp" Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1992.

  7. M. Ginsberg "Essentials of Artificial Intelligence" Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1993.

  8. G. F. Luger and W. A. Stubblefield "Artificial Intelligence Structures and Strategies for Complex Problem Solving" Third edition Addison-Wesley, 1998.

  9. M.R. Genesereth and N. Nilsson, "Logical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence" Morgan Kaufmann, 1987.

Machine Learning

  1. Tom M. Mitchell "Machine Learning" McGraw-Hill, 1997.

  2. P. Langley "Elements of Machine Learning" Morgan Kauffamann Publishers, Inc. 1996.

Lisp/Prolog Textbooks and Manuals

  1. G. L. Steele Jr. "Common Lisp: The language'' 2nd edition Digital Press, 1990. (ISBN 1-55558-041-6)
    This reference is online.

  2. Patrick H. Winston and Berthold K.P. Horn "Lisp" 3rd edition.

  3. L. Sterling, E. Shapiro "The Art of Prolog" MIT Press, 1986.