Introduction to artificial intelligence. (English) Zbl 0605.68083

Addison-Wesley Series in Computer Science. Reading, Massachusetts etc.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. XVII, 701 p. (1985).
The book is a very successful attempt to explain all fundamental techniques of AI to a novice to the field. It is fully selfcontained - no previous knowledge is required though some programming experience would certainly be helpful.
The volume covers the following subjects currently considered as a part of AI: vision, language understanding, search and planning, expert systems and learning.
The subject of AI is introduced in the first chapter ”AI and Internal Representation”. The unifying formalism of the treatment is logic and LISP-like notation, LISP being the language of most examples. All the reader should know about LISP is summed up in the second chapter ”LISP”.
The rest of the book consists of the chapters 3 ”Vision”, 4 ”Parsing Language”, 5 ”Search”, 6 ”Logic and Deduction”, 7 ”Memory Organization and Deduction”, 8 ”Abduction, Uncertainty and Expert Systems”, 9 ”Managing Plans of Action”, 10 ”Language Comprehension”, and 11 ”Learning”.
The clarity of basic ideas is the first aim of the authors. The treatment of every subject starts with a well chosen real-life example which leads the reader to his own rediscovery of the crucial phases of the process of solution. The description of the currently used method seems to be then a natural result. The authors save the reader from the overflow of various approaches to the same problem - they try to extract the basic principles. The reader is given deep insight into the problem and its principal decomposition into subproblems, which crucially influence the resulting method of solution. To balance the danger of oversimplification, each chapter is completed by a carefully chosen annotated bibliography.
Reviewer: O.Štěpánková


68Txx Artificial intelligence
68-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to computer science