CS 426: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Call Number: #3632

TR 2:00-3:15 
IACC, Rm. #104

Dr. Brian M. Slator, Professor
Computer Science Department
North Dakota State University
Office: IACC Building, Rm. #262-E
Phone: 701-231-6124
Office hours: see Fall 2006 Schedule (TBD), or by appt.

CS426 Grader: Ganesh Kumar Vellaswamy (g.vellaswamychelaiahrothimaswa@ndsu.edu)


  • Reading for the next assignment:
    The first two sections of the Text Notes
    The Rich and Knight textbook, pages 73-79
    and Navigating and Searching the MUD

  • Thursday, Nov. 2nd, 7 PM, Memorial Union Conference Room
    MIS Club meeting, featuring Gary Inman from Microsoft Great Plains, talking about the internship program

  • Wednesday, Nov. 15th, 2 PM, Memorial Union Century Theater, Doug Burgum, former President, Great Plains Software.

  • The First Blackwood Server Assignment (100 pts) has been posted, see below.
    Note: http://lions.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu:7778

  • Grades

  • The Blackwood Environment

  • Blackwood History

  • The first part of the next assignment goes like this:
    1. go to http://dbay.ndsu.edu/ and press the Play-Login button
    2. click the "DollarBay Client Windows Installer" Download link
    3. download the most recent install file (currently V2.1.14)
    4. install the Dollar Bay application
    5. create a store using Hostname: javamoo.ndsu.edu
      ServerName: dollarbay
  • There is a listserv problem As of August, 31 2006.
  • NO CLASS, Thursday, August 24.
  • CS426 Final Exam is scheduled for Friday, December 15th, at 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Required Reading:


  • Exam #1 (100 pts): Tuesday, Sep 26, 2:00 to 3:15
    Blackboard(?), 50 questions, open book, open notes, individual effort
    The breakdown:
    • Turing Paper, 20 of 28
    • Basic Questions with John McCarthy, 12 of 16,
    • ELIZA, 12 of 17,
    • Dialogs with colorful personalities of early AI, 6 of 11,

    A freebie:
    Question: Who said the following: "Chess is the Drosophila of AI"? Alan Turing
    [X] Alexander Kronrod
    Art Vandalay
    Dr. Slator


Supplemental Reading:

  • Falling Prey to Machines? John Holland, recipient of the first computer science Ph.D in 1959, says artificial intelligence is possible, but will take far more work on the conceptual side.
    Summary at: http://www.acm.org/technews/articles/2003-5/0212w.html#item1
  • Read how agent based simulation is "too state-of-the-art"
  • A CS426 student sent me this: THIS LINK IS CURRENTLY BROKEN
    The above URL might be of interests to students of CSCI 426. You have to try and code the most intelligent robot tank to fight in an area with others. It's done with Java and pretty fun.
  • Of Pawns, Knights, Bits, Bytes A story about Deep Junior, which "is different from the usual computerized players because of the human way it plays", from Wired News (01/23/03); Kahney, Leander (http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57345,00.html).
  • The Turing Tournament at Cal Tech, a $10,000 prize.
  • AI Overview by the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Course Overview and Philosophy

CS426 will be a course that surveys Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques but concentrates these together into a project-oriented approach to SOFTWARE AGENTS. The class will contribute to the ongoing development of a multi-player synthetic environment that supports an educational game.

The students of CS426 will work on the Blackwood Project.

The class will be organized as a project team. Each member will have an individual set of project responsibilities for which they will be graded. There will be exams (open book, open notes), primarily over the textbook material, and offered over Blackboard. There will be optional final project.


Visit the Blackwood Project Web Site for details.

Grad Students

Graduate Students taking this course as CS626 for credit towards an advanced degree will be required to do an extra assignment. This might take the form of an in-class presentation. Details of this extra assignment will be developed on a case-by-case basis.

General Comments

  • You are expected to BE HERE. Come to class -- attendance will be taken semi-regularly. If you miss class, come and speak to me. This WILL affect your grade.
  • Participate, cooperate, and help others.
  • The general format will be:
    • Tuesdays, Lectures;
    • Thursdays, Projects.
  • You can expect a substantial amount of outside class effort for this course.
  • This document will change over the course of the semester.
    You should check here at least once a week.
  • Periodically you might be asked to take a survey or some other in-class activity. These will not be graded, but they will be a form of taking attendance.

Policy on Late Assignments

There is no happy way to assign lateness demerits. For the purposes of this class, it is never too late to turn in work - until the time of the final exam which is, this term:

Friday, December 15th at 12:30 PM.

However, the later an assignment is produced, the less it is worth.

Therefore, the policy will be this: late assignments will lose a letter grade immediately, and then another letter grade after one week. Assignments received after that will be accepted up until the very last minute, as described above.

Policy on Extra Credit

There could possibly be extra credit opportunities for interested persons. See me.

Special Needs

NDSU Academic Affairs New Course Syllabi Requirement

Any student with disabilities or other special needs, who needs special accomodations in this course, is invited to share these concerns or requests with the instructor as soon as possible.

Academic Dishonesty or Misconduct

NDSU Academic Affairs New Course Syllabi Requirement

Work in this course must adhere to the Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct as cited in "Rights & Responsibilities of Community: A Code of Student Conduct" (1993) pp. 29-30. "The academic community is operated on that basis of honesty, integrity, and fair play. Occasionally, this trust is violated when cheating occurs, either inadvertently or deliberately .....Faculty members may fail the student for the particular assignment, test, or course involved, or they may recommend that the student drop the course in question, or these penalties may be varied with the gravity of the offense and the circumstances of the particular case."

Academic dishonesty can be divided into four categories and defined as follows:

  • Cheating: Intentionally using or attemping to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication: Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Plagiarism: Intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise.

Modified: 29Dec98, 9Jan01, 28Dec02, 13Jan03, 22Aug05, 21Aug06
Send comments to: slator@cs.ndsu.edu