CS 561: Foundations of Artificial Intelligence

Spring 2010

Course Information and Syllabus
(tentative schedule - subject to change)
Meeting TimeMW 5:00pm - 6:20pm
Meeting LocationSection 30079D: OHE122
Section 30080D: DEN / OFF CAMPUS
CommunicationUSC's DEN Blackboard Site, email and class web-page
Textbook[AIMA] Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd Edition), by Russel and Norvig, Prentice Hall, 2002
Instructor Sofus A. Macskassy
Office: SAL 216 / ISI 946
Email: macskass@usc.edu
Office hours: By appointment
Teaching Assistants
TANadeesha Ranasinghe
OfficeSAL 235
Emailnadeeshr at usc dot edu
Office HourseMon, 111m-1pm
TAWilliam Yeoh
OfficeSAL 237
Emailwyeoh at usc dot edu
Office HourseTue, 10am-noon
TAHarris Chiu
OfficePHE 328
Emailchichiu at usc dot edu
Office HourseThu, 10:30am-12:30pm

Course Overview

Artificial Intelligence (AI) seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior, and their embodiment in machines. This course approaches AI by using Intelligent Agents as an integrating perspective on the key topics in intelligent behavior.

Planned Schedule (tentative)
Date Description Readings Slides Work
1/11 Overview AIMA Ch. 1 Lecture-01-Intro.pdf  
1/13 Intelligent Agents AIMA Ch. 2 Lecture-02-Intelligent Agents.pdf  
1/18 No class - Martin Luther King Birthday
1/20 Problem Solving and search AIMA Ch. 3 Lecture-03-04-Uninformed Search.pdf  
1/25 Problem Solving and search AIMA Ch. 3   HW1rev2.pdf (due 2/10) - (updated Feb 3; 2:15pm)
1/27 Heuristic Search AIMA Ch. 4 Lecture-05-06-Heuristic Search.pdf  
2/1 Heuristic Search
AIMA Ch. 4   Project-1 given out:
Project1_Spring2010.pdf (updated Feb 17; 3:00pm)
evaluator.zip (updated Feb 17; 3:00pm)
2/3 Guest Lecturer
Adversarial Game Search
AIMA Ch. 6 Lecture-07-Adversarial search.pdf  
2/8 Constraint Satisfaction Problems AIMA Ch. 5 Lecture-08-Constraint Satisfaction.pdf  
2/10 Logical Agents AIMA Ch. 7 Lecture-09-10-Logical Agents.pdf HW-1 due
2/15 No class - president's day
2/17 Logical Agents AIMA Ch. 7    
2/22 First-order Logic AIMA Ch. 8 Lecture-11-12-First-order Logic.pdf
(updated Feb 22; 9:05pm)
HW-2 due
2/24 First-order Logic AIMA Ch. 8    
3/1 Midterm 1 - LOCATION: SGM 124 (5pm - 6:20pm)
3/3 Inference in First-order Logic AIMA Ch. 9 Lecture 13-14-Inference in First-order Logic.pdf  
3/8 Inference in First-order Logic
Knowledge Representation
AIMA Ch. 9
AIMA Ch. 10
Lecture 14-15-Knowledge Representation.pdf HW-3
Project-1 due
3/10 Knowledge Representation AIMA Ch. 10    
3/15 No class - spring recess
3/17 No class - spring recess
3/22 Logical Reasoning AIMA Ch. 9.3-9.6
AIMA Ch. 10.6-10.7
Lecture 16-Logical Reasoning.pdf HW-3 due
3/24 Planning AIMA Ch. 11 Lecture 17-Planning.pdf
(Updated 3/24 @ 9:35pm)
3/29 Guest Lecturer
AIMA Ch. 13 Lecture 18-Uncertainty.pdf  
3/31 Guest Lecturer
Probablistic Reasoning
AIMA Ch. 14 Lecture 19-Probabilistic Reasoning.pdf  
4/5 Probabilistic Inference AIMA Ch. 14 Lecture 20-Probabilistic Inference.pdf
(Updated 4/4 @ 10pm)
HW-4 due
4/7 Probabilistic Reasoning over Time AIMA Ch. 15 Lecture 21-Probabilistic Reasoning over Time.pdf
Updated 4/28 @ 9:45pm (fixe viterbi calculation slide)
4/12 Midterm 2 - LOCATION: SGM 101 (5pm - 6:20pm)
4/14 Rational Decision-making AIMA Ch. 16 Lecture 22-Rational Decisions.pdf bonus-hw.pdf
Updated 4/17 @ 10pm (Edit: U5=T)
4/19 Learning from Observations AIMA Ch. 18 Lecture 23-Learning.pdf Project-2 due
4/21 Statistical Learning AIMA Ch. 20 Lecture 24-Statistical Learning.pdf  
4/26 Communication and Language AIMA Ch. 22 Lecture 25-Communication and Language.pdf bonus hw due
4/28 Review   Lecture 26-Review.pdf  
5/5 FINAL EXAM - LOCATION: THH 301 (4:30pm-6:30pm)

Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on:

HANDING IN HOMEWORK + PROJECTS: All homeworks and projects need to be handed in using DEN's turnitin service from the class blackboard page.

The midterms and final will be open book and notes, but must along with the programming projects reflect just the work of the individual student, with no outside help (except for questions asked of the instructor and TA). No make up exams will be given.

Projects and homeworks handed in one day late will result in a 25% reduction in the total score, two days late will yield a 50% reduction, and no credit will be give for three or more days late.

NOTE ON REGRADING: Once you have gotten your graded work back (homework, project or midterm) you have one week to ask for a review of the grade if you think there was an error in the grade. After that, no regrading will be done. There will be no exceptions.


Ability to program in C++, including knowledge of major data structures.

Statement for Students with Disabilities:

Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me (or to the TA) as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m.5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776.

Statement on Academic Integrity:

USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academic honesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one's own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using another's work as one's own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles. Scampus, the Student Guidebook, contains the Student Conduct Code in Section 11.00, while the recommended sanctions are located in Appendix A: http://www.usc.edu/dept/publications/SCAMPUS/gov/. Students will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review, should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty. The Review process can be found at: http://www.usc.edu/student-affairs/SJACS/.