Instructor: Peter Stone
Department of Computer Sciences
Tuesday, Thursday 2-3:15pm
office hours: Tuesday, Thursday 12:45pm-1:45pm, and by appointment
office: TAY 4.122
Vinay Sampath Kumar
office hours: Monday 2:00pm-3:30pm, Friday 9:00am-10:30am
office: PAI 5.36 C
Some background in artificial intelligence is recommended. Good
programming skills, preferably in C and C++.
If you're not familiar with Unix, I recommend attending one of the 1-hour sessions "Introduction to Unix in the CS Department," which will be taught by Dan Machold (machold@cs). It will be offered in Taylor 2.106 at the following times:
Reading, written, and programming assignments will be updated on the
You can go directly to the final project page.
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There is no generally accepted definition of artificial intelligence "agents." But practitioners know them when they see them. In loose terms, agents are programs that (i) sense their environment, (ii) make decisions about how to act based on these sensations, and (iii) then execute these actions. Autonomous agents do all three of these steps on their own, i.e. without a human in the loop. Multiagent systems are collections of multiple agents that interact with one another.
This course provides a broad introduction to autonomous agents with an emphasis on multiagent systems. It is a programming-intensive course. There will be on-going, incremental programming assignments leading to a final project, and ultimately a competition tournament in the RoboCup soccer simulator. Students will have the option of working in groups on the final project.
The course also has a significant writing component. Brief written answers to questions based on the reading will be assigned weekly. There will be a project proposal halfway through the semester with an opportunity for revisions. The grade for the final project will be based largely on the written report due at the end of the semester.
Participation in the class discussions will also form a significant part of the grade. Class meetings will consist of discussions based on assigned readings. Each student will be responsible for participating in moderating one discussion.
The goal of this course is to give the student an appreciation for the broad research topics currently being pursued in the field of autonomous agents and multiagent systems. By the end of the course, the student should be able to
The course will be difficult and time-consuming. But it should also be rewarding and a lot of fun. It is designed to present a solid entry point to the field of artificial intelligence. For those students with interest, it could possibly lead to subsequent research opportunities.
These deadlines are designed both to encourage you to do the readings before class and also to allow us to incorporate some of your responses into the class discussions.
If you turn in your assignment late, expect points to be deducted. No exceptions will be made for the written responses to readings-based questions (subject to the ``notice about missed work due to religious holy days'' below). For other assignments, extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but in most cases they will not be granted.
You are encouraged to discuss assignments with classmates. But all written work must be your own. And programming assignments must be your own except for 2-person teams on the final project. Students caught cheating will automatically fail the course. If in doubt, look at the departmental guidelines and/or ask.
|programming assignment 1 due Thursday|
|programming assignment 2 due Thursday|
|programming assignment 3 due Thursday|
|7||10/8,10||RoboCup case studies|
|programming assignment 4 due Thursday|
|8||10/15,17||Swarms and self-organization|
|project proposal due Thursday|
|9||10/22,24||Applications: cooperative information gathering and industrial settings|
|10||10/29,31||Distributed rational decision making|
|11||11/5,7||Distributed rational decision making|
|12||11/12,14||Negotiation and auctions|
|project progress report due Thursday|
|final project team due Tuesday and report due Thursday|
|Final||12/17 (10am-noon)||final tournament (no exam, nothing due)|
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To determine if you qualify, please contact the Dean of Students at 471-6529; 471-4641 TTY. If they certify your needs, I will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.
A student who misses an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holy day will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, provided that he or she has properly notified the instructor. It is the policy of the University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify the instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holy days that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student will not be penalized for these excused absences, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.
Here are some of the slides presented in class.
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