Artificial Intelligence Programming

Artificial Intelligence Programming

Artificial Intelligence Programming

Artificial Intelligence Programming

Excerpt

Since the first edition of this book appeared, some things in the AI programming world have changed a great deal, and some things are almost exactly the way they were five years ago. Perhaps the most significant development has been the appearance of COMMON LISP, documented in abundant detail by Guy Steele [102]. All of the LISP code in this new edition has been rewritten in COMMON LISP. COMMON LISP is a pleasant surprise, given the normal result of compromise solutions designed by committees. It manages to be a synthesis of many of the best ideas present in modern LISP dialects, rather than a fossilization of the worst. While there are other dialects that have a more coherent semantics, such as SCHEME [82] and T [81], COMMON LISP is more than adequate for our needs.

The choice of COMMON LISP has affected the contents of this book in several ways. First, many features that we spent some time developing and adding to our earlier dialect of LISP are already available in COMMON LISP. In some cases, we have therefore just described the COMMON LISP feature. In other cases, we have retained the developmental material in order to explain the underlying principles.

COMMON LISP is a "large" language, and we cover only part of it; some of the best-designed features allowed us to remove material from the first edition that dealt with the friendly but limited dialect we used then, UCI LISP. Gone are the sections on FEXPRs and LEXPRs; while we still discuss the issue of extending the language by adding new data types, COMMON LISP's DEFSTRUCT is an example of a tool that we had to build from scratch in UCI LISP.

We considered both SCHEME and T for this edition. SCHEME has the right essential semantics for programming, such as lexical scoping and closures, and . . .

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