ICS 171: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Spring 2004

Course Goals:

Learn the basic AI techniques, the problems for which they are applicable, and their limitations. Topics covered include search algorithms (including heuristic search and game search), knowledge representation, elements of natural language modeling and information retrieval, learning algorithms, and probabilistic modeling.

Academic Honesty:

Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the University of California, Irvine. It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with UCI's current academic honesty policies. Please take the time to read the current UCI Senate Academic Honesty Policies and the ICS Department's policies on cheating.

The policies in these documents will be adhered to scrupulously. Any student who engages in cheating, forgery, dishonest conduct, plagiarism, or collusion in dishonest activities, will receive an academic evaluation of ``F'' for the entire course, with a letter of explanation to the student's permanent file. The ICS Student Affairs Office will be involved at every step of the process. Dr. Lathrop seeks to create a level playing field for all students.

You may never directly copy any part of any answer to any assignment. You must write all of your own source code for every coding homework assignment, using only programming aids already installed on the ICS lab computers by the ICS Support Group (e.g., you may not use source code that you find on the Web).

Quizzes will be labelled with seat and row number, picked up in row number order, and checked for suspicious correlations with quizzes from adjacent seats. Do not look at anyone else's quiz. Do not sit next to your friends. Coding homework source code will be checked with MOSS to detect plagiarism. Do not look at anyone else's source code.

Deliberately allowing someone to copy your work is collusion in academic dishonesty, and is equally as dishonest as doing the copying. Do not allow anyone to see your quiz answers. Do not allow anyone to look at your source code.

You ARE ALLOWED to discuss concepts, ideas, algorithms, computer or terminal operation, minor coding tricks, syntax errors, architecture, program flow, and high-level course material. You ARE ALLOWED to work on homework assignments with other students PROVIDED that everyone writes up and codes their own homework independently. The free exchange of ideas is encouraged; direct copying is prohibited.


There will be approximately 6 closed-book quizzes, roughly every two weeks; 3 individual programming homework assignments, roughly every three weeks; and a closed-book final exam during finals week. Because they are corrected in class, quiz make-ups are not allowed. Your lowest quiz score will be dropped. Your grade will be based 30% on quizzes, 35% on homework, and 35% on the final.

Quizzes: Students are responsible for all material presented in class, in the book, or in the homework. For all quizzes, questions may cover any material presented in any of those forums at any time. The basic goal is to learn the material, not just pass a quiz. Quizzes are merely pedagogical tools we use to assist learning. The important thing is the knowledge and skills to be acquired.

Homework: The programming homework assignments will be primarily in C/C++ or Java. You must show all intermediate work on the homework, indicating how you arrived at the answer. Turn homework in at class, pick up at Distribution Center, which is in the trailers. You will lose 20% of your grade per day that homework is late.

Final: The final exam will be based on all readings, lectures, homeworks, quizzes, and any other material covered at any time during the course.

Reading: Each chapter ends with a summary. Be sure that you know every concept discussed in the summary; any reading assignment in any chapter automatically includes the summary.

Policy on Regrading: Turn in the paper, with a reason for the request for regrading, to the Distribution Center within 1 week of receiving it. Note that the entire paper will be regraded which could result in your grade either increasing or decreasing.

Bonus Points: One (1) quiz bonus point will be awarded to the first person spotting a technical error in any class material; it must be a genuine technical error, and mere typos don't count. Homework assignments generally contain a Bonus section. Other Bonus Point opportunities may be announced.

Programming Homework Projects:

In this course you are going to write programs that: Assignments will be given out in class.

Policy on Late Projects: You will automatically lose 20% for each period of 24 hours for which a project deliverable is late: after 5 days you will receive no credit.

Bulletin Board:

Please post questions, suggestions, etc to the ics.171 news group . Also please check this news group for announcements, answers to homework etc. If you don't understand something, others probably don't either and will have the same question.


Some changes in the lecture sequence may occur due to earthquakes, fires, floods, wars, natural disasters, unnatural disasters, or the discretion of the instructor.

Resources on the Internet