Computational Intelligence


Spring, 2005

section taught by John Pollock

Early Arizona AI Researcher
Petroglyph in Santa Catalina foothills, near Finger Rock Canyon,
north of Tucson (age unknown).


There is no required text for this section of the course. A useful supplementary text is Artificial Intelligence--A Modern Approach, by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig. This is generally regarded as the best textbook in AI currently available. However, it is expensive. I recommend looking for used copies online. We will not use the book explicitly. If you buy it, you will use it only as a reference source.

Programming in LISP

A useful LISP text is Common LISPcraft, by Wilensky.


Office: Room 127, Social Sciences Bldg

Office hours: 3:30 Thursday, and by appointment.

Homework Assignments

These are to be turned in by email.

Download Course Material

  • You can preview the lectures by looking at the powerpoint slides discussing the topics of the course from the perspective of the OSCAR Project, which can be downloaded from the OSCAR website. Modified versions of these slides will be made available on this website.
  • You can also get an introduction to the LISP programming of this material on the Phil 455/555 website.

Download Powerpoint Slides from Lectures:

1. Introduction Lecture of 1/18/05 and 1/20/05.

Optional auxilliary reading: Chapter five of Contemporary Theories of Knowledge, John Pollock and Joe Cruz.

2. The OSCAR Architecture Lecture of 1/20/05

Optional auxilliary reading: Chapter two of Rational Cognition, John Pollock.

Assignment due Monday, 1/24/05. Install LISP on your computer, and load and run OSCAR. (Download the OSCAR code below.) Once OSCAR is running, run "(test)" and record the geometric average ratio of run times that is returned. Email that information to me, along with what computer you are running this on. Note that you can do this assignment either in your three-member groups or, if you are unable to meet, you can do it individually. I recommend the former if possible.

3. Deductive Reasoning Lecture of 1/25/05 (version of 1/27/05)

Optional auxilliary reading: "Natural Deduction", John Pollock.

Assignment due Monday, 1/31/05. You can do this assignment either in your three-member groups or, if you are unable to meet, you can do it individually. I recommend the former if possible.

4. Defeasible Reasoning Lecture of 1/27/05 (version of 1/27/05)

Optional auxilliary reading: Chapter three of Cognitive Carpentry, John Pollock.

Optional auxilliary reading: "Justification and Defeat" , John Pollock.

5. Reasoning Defeasibly Lecture of 2/3/05 (version of 2/3/05)

Optional auxilliary reading: "Perceiving and Reasoning about a Changing World" , John Pollock.

5. Causal Reasoning. Lecture of 2/8/05 (version of 2/8/05)

I have made (2/8/05) some important changes to the main OSCAR file, Rmacros, PC-examples, and Perception-Causes. You should download these four files again and reinstall them before doing the assignment. Rather than downloading OSCAR again, you could just change the command loading Reason-macros_3-30.lisp to load Reason-macros_3-31.lisp, as that is the only change in that file.

Assignment due Monday, 2/14/05. This should be done in your three-member groups.


OSCAR Code and Manual

Code in Macintosh format. This runs in Macintosh Common LISP:

First redefine *oscar-pathname*, which occurs about one page into the main OSCAR file, as described below in "Running OSCAR in WIndows". Then start OSCAR by opening that file and typing Cmd-H. You need not compile the files as MCL uses an incremental compiler that compiles as you load. You can compile them to make them load faster. In "Running OSCAR in WIndows" you will find some instructions for how to run OSCAR.

Code in Windows format. This runs in ACL5.0:

See the pdf document "Running OSCAR in Windows".

  • The OSCAR Manual.
    [9/21/13 It appears that John revised earlier versions of the Manual and discarded this particular version. A more recent version is available from Manual.]
    The OSCAR Manual can be downloaded as a set of postscript files or a set of pdf files.
    • Chapter 1: Loading and Running OSCAR (version of 7/20/96)
    • Chapter 2: The Theoretical Basis (version of 7/20/96)
    • Chapter 3: Epistemic Cognition (version of 7/20/96)
    • Chapter 4: Sentential Reasoning (version of 8/27/96)
    • Chapter 5: First-Order Reasoning (version of 8/27/96)
    • Chapter 6: The Discrimination Net (version of 7/20/96)
    • Chapter 7: Perceiving and Reasoning about a Changing World (version of 7/20/96)
    • Bibliography (version of 7/20/96)
    • Appendix 1: Constructing Problem Sets (version of 7/20/96)