University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department of Computer Science




Reasoning and Acting under Uncertainty

Fall 2004


Shlomo Zilberstein


Description: Complex computer systems are frequently required to make decisions based on uncertain and incomplete information. This problem arises in automated diagnosis and repair systems, autonomous planning and control, forecasting, and image processing. This course covers recently developed methods that allow intelligent systems to reason and act under uncertainty. It blends theoretical background with efficient reasoning techniques and applications. Topics include the sources of uncertainty in intelligent systems, numeric and symbolic representations of uncertainty, building probabilistic models, dependency models and maps, belief networks, exact and approximate inference algorithms, learning probabilistic models from data, probabilistic reasoning over time, decision theory and the value of information, influence diagrams, sequential decision making and partial observability (MDPs and POMDPs), structured representation of states and value functions, reasoning under uncertainty in multi-agent systems, and models of bounded rationality.

Meetings: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:05-3:20, CS 142

Prerequisites: An undergraduate artificial intelligence class or permission of instructors.

Instructor: Shlomo Zilberstein,, 545-4189

Instructor's Office Hours: Monday and Thursday, 3:30-4:30, CS 278
(or by appointment).

Teaching Assistant: Martin Allen,, 545-1985

TA's Office Hours: Monday 12:00-1:00 and Wednesday 11:00-12:30, CS 326
(or by appointment).

Reading: The material covered in this course is based on several textbooks and research papers. Selected material will be distributed by the instructor. Required reading on each topic is included in the syllabus. For additional reading see the course bibliography.

Grading: Grading will be based on class participation, homework assignments, a take-home midterm exam, and a class presentation of an advanced topic.

© 2004 Shlomo Zilberstein.