Third edition of Artificial Intelligence: foundations of computational agents, Cambridge University Press, 2023 is now available (including the full text).

1.7 Overview of the Book

The rest of the book explores the design space defined by the dimensions of complexity. It considers each dimension separately, where this can be done sensibly.

Chapter 2 analyzes what is inside the black box of Figure 1.3 and discusses the modular and hierarchical decomposition of intelligent agents.

Chapter 3 considers the simplest case of determining what to do in the case of a single agent that reasons with explicit states, no uncertainty, and has goals to be achieved, but with an indefinite horizon. In this case, the problem of solving the goal can be abstracted to searching for a path in a graph. It is shown how extra knowledge of the domain can help the search.

Chapters 4 and 5 show how to exploit features. In particular, Chapter 4 considers how to find possible states given constraints on the assignments of values to features represented as variables. Chapter 5 shows how to determine whether some proposition must be true in all states that satisfy a given set of constraints.

Chapter 6 shows how to reason with uncertainty.

Chapter 7 shows how an agent can learn from past experiences and data. It covers the most common case of learning, namely supervised learning with features, where a set of observed target features are being learned.

Chapter 8 considers the problem of planning, in particular representing and reasoning with feature-based representations of states and actions. Chapter 9 considers the problem of planning with uncertainty, and Chapter 10 expands the case to multiple agents.

Chapter 11 introduces learning under uncertainty and reinforcement learning.

Chapter 12 shows how to reason in terms of individuals and relations. Chapter 13 discusses ontologies and how to build knowledge-based systems. Chapter 14 shows how reasoning about individuals and relations can be combined with planning, learning, and probabilistic reasoning.

Chapter 15 reviews the design space of AI and shows how the material presented can fit into that design space. It also presents ethical considerations involved in building intelligent agents.