By the end of this lab exercise, you will have written a specification for your final AI lab project. This spec will describe the problem that you intend to study, the technique(s) that you intend to explore, the intended format of your final product, and a week-by-week schedule for your work.
We now turn our attention to individual projects. You now have several weeks' worth of experience with symbolic programming in Common LISP, with some exposure to applications in artificial intelligence. You also have seen several types of computation that programs might do in order to exhibit degrees of intelligence. Over the next six weeks or so, you will specify, study, implement, evaluate, demonstrate, and report on a (small) AI program of your own design.
Your exercise for this week is to prepare a specification for the system that you wish to build and a time table for your work. I ask you to be specific enough in your time table to make it a useful benchmark for measuring your progress, but not to over-plan what is likely to be an exploratory process.
Note that the final project is worth 40% of your final lab grade. Its ultimate presentation and execution will be held to a commensurate standard.
Some of you may be interested in working together on your final project. This is not only acceptable but also strongly encouraged. Two or three programmers working together will be able to tackle a larger (and thus more interesting) problem, and teamwork will likely lead to greater understanding for all participants. Be aware, though, that a project proposal from a group should be correspondingly more ambitious than a project proposal from a single student.
Write a project specification document for your final project. You should proceed through each of the steps listed below during your writing, though perhaps not linearly. I am available for consultation and clarification whenever needed.
Be sure that your schedule includes time for implementation of the program, evaluation of the results, and demonstration of the result to me. We will schedule demo times during the week of December 10 for you to present your software to me, and we may use part of our class time that week for short demos to the class.
By 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 7, submit an e-mail message containing the URL for a web page devoted to your project.
By the same time, your page should have at least one link on it, a pointer to your project proposal. The proposal should include at least these items:
Each Wednesday, you will "submit" that week's entry in the week-by-week schedule of activities and deliverables by adding a link to a file that contains your deliverables due that week.
We will use your proposal as a guideline for evaluating your final product. In the case of a team project, please submit only one proposal.
Get to work! Feel free to ask for clarification of anything in this lab as soon as possible.
The "web page" format for submitting your project proposal and deliverables will make your project more accessible to a wider audience, especially other members of the AI lab and AI course. Used properly, the web page can serve both as a public portal for others to study your project and as a location via which you and your teammates communicate while working on the project.
If neither you nor any of your partners have ever created a web page before, I would be happy to provide you with some templates for simple document presentation. You could probably use the Lab Exercises web page as a template! (Choose to view the document source from your web browser, and then save the text to a file.) You will find that putting together a simple web site with a suite of simple pages is quite easy to do.