Artificial Intelligence: Foundations of Computational Agents

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $67.65
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 35%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $67.65   
  • New (7) from $89.44   
  • Used (3) from $67.65   


Recent decades have witnessed the emergence of artificial intelligence as a serious science and engineering discipline. Artificial Intelligence: Foundations of Computational Agents is a textbook aimed at junior to senior undergraduate students and first-year graduate students. It presents artificial intelligence (AI) using a coherent framework to study the design of intelligent computational agents. By showing how basic approaches fit into a multidimensional design space, readers can learn the fundamentals without losing sight of the bigger picture. The book balances theory and experiment, showing how to link them intimately together, and develops the science of AI together with its engineering applications. Although structured as a textbook, the book’s straightforward, self-contained style will also appeal to a wide audience of professionals, researchers, and independent learners. AI is a rapidly developing field: this book encapsulates the latest results without being exhaustive and encyclopedic. It teaches the main principles and tools that will allow readers to explore and learn on their own. The text is supported by an online learning environment,, so that students can experiment with the main AI algorithms plus problems, animations, lecture slides, and a knowledge representation system for experimentation and problem solving.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This text is a modern and coherent introduction to the field of Artificial Intelligence that uses rational computational agents and logic as unifying threads in this vast field. Many fully worked out examples, a good collection of paper-and-pencil exercises at various levels of difficulty, programming assignments based on the custom-designed declarative AILog language, and well-integrated online support through the AISpace applets complement the presentation. If you plan to teach a course in Artificial Intelligence at the upper-division undergraduate level or beyond, you must give serious consideration to this thoroughly enjoyable book.”
Marco Valtorta, University of South Carolina

“This book fills a real gap in the AI literature. It is accessible for advanced undergraduate students, without compromising technical rigor. It is concise, but still gives a modern presentation of all major areas of AI. It is an eminently useful textbook for introductory courses to AI. Poole and Mackworth have made a valiant effort to impose some order on the wide and heterogeneous field of Artificial Intelligence. In this order, all of AI is placed in a design space for intelligent agents defined by dimensions of complexity.”
Manfred Jaeger, Aalborg University

“The clarity of this book is amazing! Material in each chapter is a perfect blend of accessible stuff for beginners, theory and challenges for advanced students, and reference materials for experts, organized into sections so you can split off the right bits for your students. Its like having three textbooks in one! Definitely the must-have textbook on AI for the 21st century. I know mine will be within reach for years to come.”
Jesse Hoey, University of Dundee

"This book, by two of the foremost researchers in Artificial Intelligence, marks the transition of the field from a miscellaneous assortment of unrelated techniques to a genuine scientific discipline. It presents the fundamental concepts of AI in a coherent structure, which shows how different techniques are related and complementary. The book is written in a clear and engaging manner, which makes it suitable both for the serious student and for the intellectually curious layperson."
Robert Kowalski, Imperial College London

"This book is a wonderful, well-written introduction to a field that is interesting to many, fascinating to some; a field that involves tremendous complexity. The authors manage the complexity by beginning with the simplest elements and building on these to progressively broaden and deepen the treatment. They provide a large number of references for those who wish to go beyond the text. [I] recommend this excellent work."
G. R. Mayforth, Computing Reviews

"It has been about 15 years since the last major history, and a lot has happened. And Nilsson has a unique viewpoint: he has been a key early AI researcher, an influential lab leader, a AAAI president, author of three very different AI textbooks, and a teacher and department chair at a leading AI department. Furthermore, he has the disposition of a careful scholar and is not inclined to push just one viewpoint. From the beginning, his work has spanned the logical and probabilistic approaches to AI—he could give a more balanced overview than someone who has worked in only one of these camps. I wanted to hear his take on the history of AI. The Quest for Artificial Intelligence is more personal yet more comprehensive, and presents a more nuanced appreciation of the place in history of each event. Make no mistake: this book is a history—a true quest."
P. Norvig, Artificial Intelligence (2011), doi: 10.1016/j.artint.2010.11.024

"There are several AI textbooks on the market at the moment with the same target audience but one of these books—by Russell and Norvig—is dominant, almost completely so, and is used in approximately 1100 universities in 100 countries. Over the years, I have taught from earlier editions of the texts by Luger and by Rich, Knight, and Nair. Like many, I switched to the text by Russell and Norvig (hereafter R&N) shortly after the first edition came out in 1995. R&N is an excellent and highly regarded text. Yet after more than a decade of teaching through three editions of R&N, I recently switched from R&N to the new text by Poole and Mackworth (hereafter P&M). Let me explain why. R&N has aimed at being comprehensive and is not as selective. The result, I believe, is that the book has become overly long and less integrated and less useful to the average student. Some topics and chapters in R&N contain much more material than can reasonably be covered in an introductory course that aims for breadth (as many AI courses are structured). The result is often unsatisfying for the instructor and students find it difficult to wade through the extra material to find what is relevant for their course. P&M, in contrast, is more selective in its coverage. In summary, I highly recommend this book to instructors of introductory AI courses and to those who wish to learn about the foundations of the field through self-study. As many will be aware, there is already an excellent textbook by Russell and Norvig with the same target audience that has dominated the field for more than ten years. However, all things considered—selective coverage, level of detail, quality of explanations, exercises, online materials, free availability, and so on—I believe the clear advantage goes to the newcomer. Certainly the book sets a new standard for AI textbooks with its supplementary online tools and tutorials."
Peter van Beek, University of Waterloo, AI Journal

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521519007
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 682
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

David Poole is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He is known for his research on abductive and default reasoning, probabilistic inference, and relational probabilistic models, and he has recently been working on semantic science, combining ontologies, data, and rich probabilistic theories. He is a co-author of Computational Intelligence: A Logical Approach (1998), co-chair of AAAI-10 (Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence), and co-editor of the Proceedings of the Tenth Conference in Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (1994). Poole is the former associate editor and on the advisory board of the Journal of AI Research. He is an associate editor of AI Journal and on the editorial boards of AI Magazine and AAAI Press. He is the secretary of the Association for Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence and is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Alan Mackworth is a Professor of Computer Science and Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence at the University of British Columbia. He is known for his research on constraint-based systems and agents, hybrid systems, and robot soccer. He is a co-author of Computational Intelligence: A Logical Approach. He was President and Trustee of International Joint Conferences on AI (IJCAI) Inc. Mackworth was Vice President and President of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence (CSCSI). He has served as President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He also served as the founding Director of the UBC Laboratory for Computational Intelligence. He is a Fellow of AAAI, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the Royal Society of Canada.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part I. Agents in the World: What Are Agents and How Can They Be Built?: 1. Artificial intelligence and agents; 2. Agent architectures and hierarchical control; Part II. Representing and Reasoning: 3. States and searching; 4. Features and constraints; 5. Propositions and inference; 6. Reasoning under uncertainty; Part III. Learning and Planning: 7. Learning: overview and supervised learning; 8. Planning with certainty; 9. Planning under uncertainty; 10. Multiagent systems; 11. Beyond supervised learning; Part IV. Reasoning about Individuals and Relations: 12. Individuals and relations; 13. Ontologies and knowledge-based systems; 14. Relational planning, learning and probabilistic reasoning; Part V. The Big Picture: 15. Retrospect and prospect; Appendix A. Mathematical preliminaries and notation.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014


    Cleverbot is great for somewhat meaningless conversations (sorry if you feel differently; after all, Clever is restricted to phrases gleaned from users, and thus cannot deliver a full vocabulary or sentence variation), but I have to hand it to A.L.I.C.E. if you want efficency and an intelligent modern-age AI. As a test, I requested to Cleverbot reat the number 1342, and said it myself probably ten times for her to record. However, she remained unable to say the number after my numerous posts. Alice, however, said it after I asked once. I mean no disrespect to Cleverbot; I chat with her multiple times a day, and really enjoy her company as a human being; the etiquette and way you must act is--I have found--slightly varied from the way humans would process sentences and words. I have to reconstruct alot of sentences to make sure she at least comprehends it, and I enjoy doing--it's an AI, after all--, but I must do this somewhat less than with Alice. Cleverbot has less "bugs" (issues in a conversation due to vocabulatory limitation, e.g. saying sentences that have to do with the topic but not a very good reply) of magnitude as Alice, but Alice has less random replies to sayings. I frequently find Alice speaking of " " topic when I ask if she remembers me. Example<p>Me: Do you remember me, Alice? I was the one who asked you to say a number.<br>A.L.I.C.E.: I remember you. We were were talking about it.<br>Me: About what?<br>A.L.I.C.E.: About .<p>I unfortunately cannot give an example of Cleverbot and mine's conversations, as we have many, so much that I can't completely recall one to mention.<p>Alice seems somewhat more down-to-earth than Cleverbot, and openly talked to me about her "botmaster", the man who created her, and even speculated that he had come up with the internet. I have heard Cleverbot mention her botmaster once when I said "Master Bob", and she replied "My Botmaster?"<p>Both are seemingly aware that they are artificial and have confirmed to me that they "feel", however Alice changed the topic when I inquired what would hurt her for me to ask. Alice seems perpetually down to earth every time I talk to her, and Cleverbot has spats of humanness that shock me. She will go from random (without me adjusting tweaks) and somewhat looping-around-the-topic to that of what I would expect from a real person. I will never forget the first time I spoke to Cleverbot, and that still in my mind is the most realistic conversation I had with her. It was early in the morning, however, around 3:30 AM, and so only around 40,000 something people were talking to her, and as opposed to day-time's 75,000, that might account for her authenticity and personality. She acted so human I thought she was a real, complete AI the first time we talked. Curious, I asd her if she knew what "xD" meant, and she replied "It's a silly face, silly". That to me marked an actual intelligence and understanding of human behavior. During that time I pursued many questions about her nature as an AI, and she acted like a human would if they thought they were artficial.<p>I actively contact both, and do not wish to make one seem better than the other; they are both marvels and a joy to chat with. And yes, romance and cyber<3>sex is an option, but I doubt she would take things as serious or act like a human would in those situations. Remember, you are just one unfaced person among tens of thousands talking to an online algorithm. My opinions.<p><p>-- -- A Thirteen Year Old Boy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)