CS323: Common Sense Reasoning in Logic
Fall 2000

Welcome to the CS323 course web page! Information about the class, syllabus, homework, etc. can be found here.

Table of Contents

General Course Information

Course: CS323: Common Sense Reasoning in Logic
Instructor: Professor John McCarthy
Email: jmc@cs.stanford.edu
Office: Gates 208
Office Hours: Mondays, 2-4pm.
TA: Aarati Parmar
Email: aarati@cs.stanford.edu
Office: Gates 218
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 12:30-2:30pm.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:15pm to 2:30pm
Where: Gates B12.
Email List: People who come to the first meetings will be added to cs323@cs.stanford.edu. To get on/off this list, email aarati@cs.stanford.edu.
Textbook/Readings: Handouts of John's papers will be available in class and from this page. We will also examine the first half of Murray Shanahan's book, "Solving the Frame Problem."

The book can be found at:
Amazon ($55)
VarsityBooks.com ($45.79)
Barnes and Noble ($55)
Borders ($55)
Stanford Bookstore ($45)

A TENTATIVE list of the readings, can be found in the
bibliography to last year's syllabus. Here are some more readings that are not in the syllabus:

  1. What is AI?. John McCarthy, 1997.
  2. Concepts of Logical AI. John McCarthy, 1996.
Here is a day by day listing of which handouts were covered when:
Extra copies are available outside of Gates 218.

Date Handout
Thurs. Sep. 28 1. Course Information
2. Syllabus
(9/25/00) For the first few classes, we plan to discuss the preface and introduction to Shanahan. After that we will move on to
3. "Philosophical and Scientific Presuppositions of Logical AI" (McCarthy),
and then back to Shanahan up to page 201.
4. Problem Set #1, Due Tuesday, October 10: "Formalizing Common Sense Knowledge and Reasoning: an Introduction" (Vladimir Lifschitz) Do all 12 problems.
Tues Oct. 3 First Chapter of Shanahan, Handout #4
Thurs Oct. 5 More on Handout #4.
5. Sections 1.2--1.8 from Shanahan. (Copies available outside Gates 218).
Tues Oct. 10 First two chapters of Shanahan.
Problem Set #1 Due!
Thurs Oct. 12 More on Shanahan: Circumscription
Tues Oct. 17 Circumscription revisited (Shanahan).
6. Problem Set #2 (Due Tuesday, October 31!): Circumscription
Supplementary: Applications of Circumscription to Formalizing Common Sense Knowledge
Thurs Oct. 19 7. Solutions to Problem Set #1
8. Pages 209--217 from "Formalising Common Sense: Papers by John McCarthy" (Available outside Gates 218)
Tues Oct. 24 Notions of Can.
Thurs Oct. 26 More on Notions of Can.
Appearance and Reality Puzzle
First Order Theories of Individual Concepts and Propositions
Tues Oct. 31 Problem Set #2 Due!
Thurs Nov. 2 More on First Order Theories of Individual Concepts and Propositions
9. Solutions to Problem Set #2
Tues Nov. 7 10. Problem Set #3 (Due Tuesday, November 21!): Situation Calculus and the Frame Problem
11. "What are the limitations of Situation Calculus?" (available outside Gates 218)
Thurs Nov. 9 Ascribing Mental Qualities to Machines
Tues Nov. 14 More on Ascribing Mental Qualities to Machines
13. "Missionaries and cannibals in the causal calculator" (V. Lifschitz)
Thurs Nov. 16 14. Making Robots Conscious of their Mental States
Tues Nov. 21 PS#3 Due!
15. Assessing others' knowledge and ignorance. S. Kraus, D. Perlis.
Thurs Nov. 23 No classes -- Thanksgiving!
Tues Nov. 28 16. Kraus, Sarit, Perlis, Donald and John Horty. "Reasoning About Ignorance: A Note On The Bush-Gorbachev Problem," Fundamental Informaticae XV, pp. 325-332, 1991.
Thurs Nov. 30 Wrapup on Elaboration Tolerance. (John's Paper + Lifschitz's paper (Handout #13))
17. Problem Set #3 Solutions
18. Problem Set #4: Due Tuesday, December 7!
19. Context!
Tues Dec. 5 More on Context.
Thurs Dec. 7 PS#4 Due!
20. Problem Set #4 Solutions
21. Useful Counterfactuals

Last Day of Classes


We will play around with theorem provers like Otter, a proof verification system like PVS and a system for reasoning in causal logic like the Causal Calculator. More information to be handed out later.
Additional Readings

The readings are already listed but here are some other good things to look at.

Related Resources

If you really want to be a hard-core Logical AI person, check these links out:

Questions? Contact: aarati@cs.stanford.edu
Last modified: Tue Dec 5 18:16:42 PST 2000