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Monday, December 12, 2011

Artificial Intelligence Illuminated

How to Read This Book
This book can be read in several ways. Some readers will choose to read the chapters through in order from Chapter 1 through Chapter 21. Any chapter that uses material which is presented in another chapter gives a clear reference to that chapter, and readers following the book from start to finish should not need to jump forward at any point, as the chapter dependencies tend to work in a forward direction.

Another perfectly reasonable way to use this book is as a reference. When a reader needs to know more about a particular subject, he or she can pick up this book and select the appropriate chapter or chapters, and can be illuminated on the subject (at least, that is the author’s intent!)

Chapter 12 contains a diagram that shows how the dependencies between chapters work (Section 12.6.2). This diagram shows, for example, that if a reader wants to read Chapter 8, it would be a good idea to already have read Chapter 7.

This book is divided into six parts, each of which is further divided into a number of chapters. The chapters are laid out as follows:

Part 1: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Chapter 1: A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence
Chapter 2: Uses and Limitations
Chapter 3: Knowledge Representation
Part 2: Search
Chapter 4: Search Methodologies
Chapter 5: Advanced Search
Chapter 6: Game Playing
Part 3: Logic
Chapter 7: Propositional and Predicate Logic
Chapter 8: Inference and Resolution for Problem Solving
Chapter 9: Rules and Expert Systems
Part 4: Machine Learning
Chapter 10: Introduction to Machine Learning
Chapter 11: Neural Networks
Chapter 12: Probabilistic Reasoning and Bayesian Belief Networks
Chapter 13: Artificial Life: Learning through Emergent Behavior
Chapter 14: Genetic Algorithms
Part 5: Planning
Chapter 15: Introduction to Planning
Chapter 16: Planning Methods
Part 6: Advanced Topics
Chapter 17: Advanced Knowledge Representation
Chapter 18: Fuzzy Reasoning
Chapter 19: Intelligent Agents
Chapter 20: Understanding Language
Chapter 21: Machine Vision
Each chapter includes an introduction that explains what the chapter covers, a summary of the chapter, some exercises and review questions, and some suggestions for further reading. There is a complete bibliography at the back of the book.

This book also has a glossary, which includes a brief definition of most of the imprtant terms used in this book. When a new term is introduced in the text it is highlighted in bold, and most of these words are included in the glossary. The only such terms that are not included in the glossary are the ones that are defined in the text, but that are not used elsewhere in the book.

The use of third person pronouns is always a contentious issue for authors of text books, and this author has chosen to use he and she interchangeably. In some cases the word “he” is used, and in other cases “she.” This is not intended to follow any particular pattern, or to make any representations about the genders, but simply is in the interests of balance.

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