Course material (assignments, lecture notes) (id/passwd required, revealed in first lecture)
Lectures Week of M M (+0) W (+2) F (+4) Topics 1. Jan 06 L1/A1r L2 L3 Intro, Game AI Successes, MiniMax Search 2. Jan 13 L4 L5 L6 [R1] AlphaBeta Search, Transposition Tables, Move Sorting 3. Jan 20 L7 L8 L9 Playing with Search Windows and Search Depth 4. Jan 27 L10 [R2] L11 L12 Evaluation Functions, Parameter Optimization, DNNs 5. Feb 03 L13/A2r L14/A1d[R] L15 Single-Agent Search, A*, IDA*, Pattern Databases 6. Feb 10 L16 L17 L18 Hierarchical/Triangulation/Multi-Agent Pathfinding 7. Feb 17 ------- READING WEEK ------------- 8. Feb 24 L19 L20 L21 Chance and Sampling, Monte Carlo Tree Search, UCT, AlphaGo 9. Mar 02 L22/A2d L23/CPA L24 Imperfect Information Games, Card Game AI, RTS Game AI 10. Mar 09 CPR - - 11. Mar 16 - - PAP [TBA+1 minutes each, 9:30-10:50] 12. Mar 23 PRO - - 13. Mar 30 - - - 14. Apr 06 PRP PRP/PRR % [TBA+1 minutes each] Legend: Ajr / Ajd : assignment j released / due (end of day) Li : lecture i CPA : choose recent research paper (Mar. 7) CPR : choose project topic (Mar. 12) PAP : paper presentations (Mar. 23) and summary due PRO : project progress report (Mar. 26, 10% malus if not sent in time) PRP : project presentation (Apr. 6/8) PRR : project report due (Apr. 13)
Search is at the heart of artificial intelligence (AI) research. AI applications often have to search among the alternatives for either the optimal answer (optimizing) or the best result given limited resource constraints (satisficing). This was best epitomized by the chess match between Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov. The computer, searching 200 million chess positions per second, narrowly edged the human world champion (~2 chess positions per second).
This course will cover many important search algorithms used in AI ranging from single-agent A* search, over two-player search (alpha-beta), to Monte-Carlo Tree Search (MCTS). Algorithms will be evaluated in terms of their algorithmic complexity, implementation considerations, utility, interaction with application-dependent knowledge, etc. At the end of the course students will know how video game engines find shortest paths quickly, how strong board game, card game, and video game AI systems work, and what current research challenges in this AI area are. Course projects can become seeds for theses!
There will be 4 assignments and a project in the course. Two assignments are designed to be fun and competetive: 1) Writing a program that plays a two-player perfect information game and 2) writing a single-agent search program to solve a puzzle. Programs will be evaluated (in part) by competing in a round-robin tournament, allowing each student's program to test its ability against all other programs. In the second half of the course, students will 3) summarize a recent research paper of their choice and 4) choose a project to work on (if more than 10 students take the course, projects will be done in teams of 2 if possible). Project presentations will finish the course. There is no final exam.
In this course grades will not be curved, they are absolute - following these cut points:
>= 95% A+ >= 90% A >= 85% A- >= 80% B+ >= 75% B >= 70% B- >= 65% C+ >= 60% C >= 55% C- >= 50% D+ >= 45% D < 45% F
Please visit this page to learn about our interpretation of letter grades. I have the discretion in setting the borderline between passing and failing and, in doing so, may consider a students entire performance across the term as well as their overall percentage.
The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University. (GFC 29 SEP 2003)
Copying and cheating on assignments will be penalized with a mark of 0 (see the standard handouts for academic dishonesty and copying and cheating), and Section 30.3.2 Inappropriate Academic Behaviour.
Students are encouraged to discuss and solve problem sets in small
groups to speed up learning and stimulate idea exchange. In the end,
however, students must write down their own solutions and be able to
solve similar problems independently. You must give credit to any
source that substantially assisted you in completing the assignment. A
source includes fellow students, books, papers, TAs, and me. Failure
to give proper credit is considered plagiarism.