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Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1558601918
ISBN-10: 1558601910
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Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp + Common LISP: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation (Dover Books on Engineering)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This is an overview of classical artificial intelligence (AI) programming via actual implementation of landmark systems (case studies). For the student interested in AI, Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming is an invaluable history lesson. Even the programmer who is relatively uninterested in AI will find value in the book's basic introduction to Lisp and case studies written in Lisp. But perhaps the book's best feature is its information on efficiency considerations in Lisp. Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming is worth purchasing for these discussions alone, which provide a wealth of useful guidelines for optimizing your code.

Review

Paradigms of AI Programming teaches advanced Common Lisp techniques in the context of building major AI systems. By reconstructing authentic, complex AI programs using state-of-the-art Common Lisp, the book teaches students and professionals how to build and debug robust practical programs, while demonstrating superior programming style and important AI concepts. The author strongly emphasizes the practical, performance issues of writing real working programs of significant size, including chapters on troubleshooting and efficiency. A discussion of the fundamentals of object-oriented programming and a description of the main CLOS functions are included. This volume is an excellent text for a course on AI programming, a useful supplement for general AI courses and an indispensable reference for the professional programmer. -- Book Description
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 946 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (October 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558601910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558601918
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I live in Palo Alto, CA with my wife and two children. I am currently the Director of Research for Google, and I am teaching an Intro AI class at Stanford and online for the world. You can buy some of my books here at Amazon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B. Browne on June 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is equally excellent regardless of whether you wish to regard it as:
a) A historical study of Artificial Intelligence, with USABLE examples of code, or
b) A book presenting techniques for programming in Common Lisp.
As a reference about Common Lisp, it is certainly lacking, but this is no great problem when both the Common Lisp HyperSpec and Steele's book are readily available in electronic form. It provides something more important: SIGNIFICANT examples, and significant discussions on WHY you would use various Lisp idioms, and, fairly often, discussions on HOW pieces of Common Lisp are likely to be implemented. Its discussion of an implementation of the LOOP macro, for instance, provides a very different point of view than the "references" to LOOP. (Contrast too with Graham's books, which largely deprecate the use of LOOP.)
From an AI perspective, it is also very good, providing WORKING SAMPLES for a whole lot of the historically significant AI problems, including Search, PLANNER, symbolic computation, and the likes.
It would be interesting to see parallel works from the following sorts of perspectives:
- The same sorts of AI problems solved using functional languages (e.g. - ML, Haskell), to allow contrasting the use of those more modern languages. Being more "purely functional" has merits; such languages commonly lack macros, which is something of a disadvantage.
- The use of CL to grapple with some other sorts of applications, notably random access to data [e.g. - databases] and rendition of output in HTML/SGML/XML [e.g. - web server].
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Randall Helzerman on April 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book has been called "The best book on programming ever written". I'd have to agree--it is certainly the best that I've ever read.

William Zinsser said, "The essence of writing is rewriting" and the same can be said for writing computer programs. Norvig's book presents this process--how the limitations of a program are overcome by revision and rewriting. What sets Norvig apart as a writer is that, amazingly enough, he can write about debugging (the most dreaded part of computer programming) and make it a fascinating read!

Lisp has been getting a higher profile lately because of essayists like Paul Graham and Philip Greenspun; in particular, Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming which states: "Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp." So, should this book be read as an exhortation to return to Lisp as the preferred programming language?

Paradoxically, I think not. One third of the way through the book, Norvig shows us how to implement Prolog in Lisp. From then on out, most of the AI techniques he presents either directly use Prolog instead of Lisp (such as his excellent discussion of natural language processing using Prolog) or use Prolog as a base to build on (such as his discussions on knowledge representation).

From this we can abstract what I'd like to call Norvig's Corollary to Greenspun's Tenth Law of Programming: "Any sufficiently complicated LISP program is going to contain a slow implementation of half of Prolog". I'm leaving out the "ad hoc", "bug-ridden" part of Greenspuns's law, because Norvig's programs are neither.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have no background in computer science or AI, but found myself needing to use Lisp for various creative and artistic purposes. I've spent a lot of money on books relating to Common Lisp, but I wish I had just gotten this one and Touretzky's "Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation." The particular strengths of this book are its detailed discussion of advanced topics, especially optimization, and the practical overview of current and historical AI topics through programming examples. Very clearly written.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By terry.west@cybersafe.com on November 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely advanced book on AI techniques. The examples are the best that I have seen in thirty years of Lisp involvment. The author treats many of the classical AI programs and implements them with Common Lisp. Sophisticated search strategies are discussed with example code being given for all of them. A very strong chapter on program optimization is included, a subject often omitted by Lisp writers. Included is complete code for Eliza as well as a treatment of EMYCIN. The author also treats the implementation of embedded languages and gives PROLOG and SCHEME as examples. The book is addressed to production level programmers. This book is definately not for beginners in the Lisp language.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Thomas DeBenning on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming" is one of the best books of computer science that I have ever read. I put it up there in the pantheon with "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs". I have found more useful and mind expanding material in these case studies than I have in many other books on computer science. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they have never used Lisp.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Aditya on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, the good:

This book is a great read, both the code and non-code sections. Peter Norvig is clearly passionate about AI, and it comes through in his examples. His writing is clear and fun to read. His code examples are fantastic. When he begins a chapter by describing a problem, you think "wow, that's going to take ages to get through." Then you flip the page, and he's got all the code down on the next page. It's a real joy to see clear, concise, well-written code like this. This is probably what musicians feel when they listen to a Beethoven sonata.

The bad: the examples are historical (read: dated), and they don't teach you a whole lot about either AI or Lisp. If you know depth first search and regular expressions, you can breeze through the first 250 pages of this book: it won't show you anything besides some very well-written code (which, let me emphasize again, is really great to read). Unless you are using Lisp as your programming language (I'm using Haskell), section 3 (optimizing your Lisp code + Logic programming) will be hit and miss too.

So, to sum up:

If you want to learn Lisp, Norvig recommends Paul Graham's book.
If you want to learn AI, Norvig has written AI: A Modern Approach.

I spent five bucks on a used copy of this book, and felt like I got my money's worth. I would definitely not spend $80+ on it.
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