WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

CS4341 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 
Syllabus - D 2001


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 SL105


Prof. Carolina Ruiz
Office: FL 232
Phone Number: (508) 831-5640
Office Hours:
Mon. 11:00 - 12:00 m.
Th. 3:00 - 4:00 pm, or by appointment


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

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%
Project 1 10%
Project 2 10%
Project 3 10%
Project 4 10%
Project 5 10%
Project 2's tournament Extra Points
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. Exams will be in-class, 50 minute, closed-book, individual exams. Collaboration or other outside assistance on exams is not allowed.

Exam 1: Thursday, April 05
Exam 2: Tuesday, May 01

Regarding makeup exams, I follow Prof. Gennert's policy: "Makeup and/or early examinations are not given except under the most dire of circumstances, and then only with corroborating documentation. Note well that neither oversleeping, forgetting to show up for an exam, nor conflicting travel arrangements are considered dire circumstances."


There will be a total of 5 projects.
Code and Documentation
These projects may be implemented using any high level programming language (
Lisp, Prolog, C, C++, Java, ...). Code documentation must follow the Departmental Documentation Standard (see http://www.cs.wpi.edu/Help/documentation-standard.html).
Project Teams
Students are expected to organize themselves into groups of exactly 4 for each of the projects.
Submissions and Late Policy
Late projects, with a 30% late penalty, will be accepted until 9 am of the day after the project is due (i.e. Saturday).
ONLY projects submitted using the turnin system by the deadline or the late deadline (with the corresponding penalty) will be accepted. ALL email submissions will be rejected.
Project Descriptions
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.


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/D01/
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.