# AI Problem-Solving Methods. Outline

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1 AI ProblemSolving Methods Luger, Part II, Ch 3 & Reference Texts Outline Classic AI Problemsolving methods State space search Search strategies Blind searches

2 Intelligence and Symbol Systems Physical symbol system hypothesis (Newell & Simon 76): Intelligence resides in physical symbol systems (collections of patterns and processes) à Principles of traditional AI methods: Symbols to describe the world Searches to select a solution among alternative results from operations on symbol patterns Architectures to support symbol systems in ways that do not depend on the implementation of symbols AI as representation and search Given a problem, classic AI approaches: Define symbol structures & operations (actions) Develop efficient and correct search techniques

3 Building AI programs Define problem precisely Analyze & represent the task knowledge Choose & apply representation and reasoning techniques Problemsolving techniques AI Problem Initial state State Space Problem Search the problem for a solution Goal state

4 State Space Problems A problem space consists of states and operators States specify values of all attributes of interest in the world Operators change one state into another specified by Preconditions: values certain attributes must have to enable operators application in a state Postconditions: attributes of a state altered by an operator application Problem Formulation: Example 1 A water jug problem Jugs have no scale measurement You can empty the jug or pour from one jug to fill the other 3 gallons 5gallon jug 1 gallon 2gallon jug 1 gallon 5gallon jug No water 2gallon jug Can you formulate this problem into a state space search problem?

5 Example 1 (cont.) Toy problem: Water jug problem States: amount of water in both jugs Actions: Empty large, Empty small, Pour from small to (empty) large, Pour from large to (empty) small Goal: specified amount of water in both jugs Path cost: total number of actions applied Problem formulation: Example 2 Realworld problem: Find a driving route from city A to city B States: location specified by city Actions: driving along the roads between cities Goal: city B Path cost: total distance or expected travel time

6 Problem formulation: Example Start state Goal state Toy problem: The 8puzzle States: location of each tile and also the blank Actions: blank moves left, right, up or down Goal: state matches the goal configuration Path cost: length of path (each action step cost 1) More Example Problems Real world problems Touring and travelling salesman problems VLSI layout Robot navigation

7 Problem formulation Key elements Representation of states and actions Abstraction, i.e., removing details of representation while maintaining validity Efficiency State Space Problems: Representation Problem formulation à Representation à Search Representation states operator specifications Example: a water jug problem States: amount of water in both jugs (b, s) where b is amount of water in a big (5gal) jug s is amount of water in a small (2gal) jug say, initial state = (5, 2) and goal state = (1, 0)

8 Water Jug Problem (Cont.) when one of the jug is not empty Operators: empty big empty small Preconditions Postconditions b > 0 (0, s) s > 0 (b, 0) when one of the jug is empty big is empty small is empty b = 0, s > 0 (s, 0) b > 0, s = 0 (b2, 2) if b 2 (0, b) b < 2 Water Jug Problem (Cont.) Operators: 1. empty big 2. empty small 3. big is empty 4. small is empty Precond Postcond b > 0 (0, s) s > 0 (b, 0) b = 0, s > 0 (s, 0) b > 0, s = 0 (b2, 2) if b 2 (0, b) b < 2 Solution path: 2, 4, 2, 4, 2 Init: (5, 2) goal: (1, 0) (5, 2) 1 2 (0, 2) (5, 0) 3 (2, 0).... (1, 0)

9 Characterizing problems Characterizing problems help find effective search strategies: Decomposibility à divideconquer, parallelism Examples: Integration problem: (3x x 2 2) dx 3x dx x 2 dx 2 dx Block world: A O1: put_ontable(x) O2: stack(x, Y) C A B B C Characterizing problems (contd.) Solution types: a state or a path? Examples: Natural Language Understanding search for interpretation of a sentence (e.g., pasta salad vs. dog food) Water jug problem Does the search need to record the path of the problemsolving process as it proceeds?

10 Characterizing problems (contd.) Solution steps: Ignorable? only care about the result (e.g., theorem proving) à search needs only control Recoverable? solution steps can be undone (e.g., 8 puzzle) à search additionally needs backtrack mechanisms Irrecoverable? solution steps can t be undone (e.g., chess) à search needs planning process Characterizing problems (contd.) Solution quality: Absolute? (e.g., question answering problem given a goal state ) à search for optimal solution Relative? (e.g., traveling salesman problem no prior goal state) à search for any solution

11 Characterizing problems (contd.) Predictability of the problem universe Certain outcome? (e.g., 8 puzzle ) à search needs planning in open loop control Uncertain outcome? (e.g., bridge due to incomplete information, nondeterministic natures of controlling robot arms) à search needs planning with revision (i.e., closed loop control) Problemsolving techniques Good representations are the key to good problemsolving techniques Once a problem is described using appropriate representation, the problem is almost solved

12 Problemsolving techniques (contd) General problemsolving techniques: Generate and test Describe and match Means ends Analysis Problem Reduction Generate and test Used in analysis task e.g. diagnosis Disease1 Disease2 Disease3 goal state H B C caused_by E F G causes A B C D Symptom3 Symptom1 Symptom2 initial state Good generator must be complete, nonredundant, informed e.g., finding a combination lock of a three twodigit numbers à combinations if we know that each number is prime à 25 3 combinations

13 Describe and Match Featuredbased à classification Describe: What are the features to classify circle and ovals? What about an image of a man vs. a woman? Describe and Match (contd) Similaritybased à analogy [Winston, 97] Example: Given A, B and C Which of the five choices is related to C similarly to how A relates to B?

14 Analogy Example Describe How objects are arranged e.g., leftof, above How each object is transformed e.g., smaller, disappear, rotated Representation C deleted C above above R enlarged R inside Leftof T unchanged T Analogy Example (contd) Detecting objects arrangement Leftof, Rightof, Above, Below: compute center of area of an object then divide area into four quadrants Examples: Above leftof

15 Analogy Example (contd) Detecting objects arrangement Inside/Outside: Draw a line from center of one object to infinity If the line touches the other object odd number of times à inside Examples: Analogy Example (contd) Match Find associations of transformed objects Match relations between associated objects

16 Issues Analogy Example (contd) Graph matching is intractable # possible associations = n! for n transformed objects Inexact match Rank similarity by measuring degree of overlapping e.g., transformations (e.g., unchanged, scaled, rotated) may have different weighting scores Ambiguity Issues Analogy Example (contd) Ambiguity Delete large, or Delete small and shrink size A A A A

17 Describe and Match (contd) Abstraction à summarization, story understanding Example: [Winston, 97] Thomas and Albert Thomas and Albert respect each other s technical judgment and decided to form a company together. Thomas learned that Albert was notoriously absentminded whereupon he insisted that Albert have nothing to do with the proposed company s finances. This angered Albert so much that he backed out of their agreement, hoping that Thomas would be disappointed. 1. What is this story about? 2. What is the result? 3. In what way is this story like the story of John and Mary? John and Mary John and Mary loved each other and decided to be married. Just before the wedding, John discovered that Mary s father was secretly smuggling stolen art through Venice. After struggling with his conscience for days, John reported Mary s father to the police. Mary understood John s decision, but she despised him for it nevertheless; she broke their engagement knowing that he would suffer. Abstraction Story can be abstracted as combinations of mental states events ve event ve event Mental state Initiates Terminates Corefers

18 Mental States & Events Recursion Change mind Perseverance ve event ve event Mental state Success Failure Enablement Motivation Initiates Terminates Corefers ve tradeoff loss resolution ve tradeoff ve coref Mixed blessing Hidden blessing ve blessing Mental States & Events (contd) Motivation Success Success born of adversity Intentional problem resolution Retaliation (to return like for like, evil for evil) ve event ve event Mental state Initiates Terminates Corefers Perspective 1 Perspective 2

19 Story Understanding T learned that A was notoriously absentminded where upon he insisted that A have nothing to do with the proposed company s finances. Thomas s perspective Respect Discovery about A Form company Thought about company s finance Disappoint Ban Albert Albert s perspective Respect T and A respect each other s technical judgment Form company Anger Thought about agreement Withdrawal and decided to form a company together. This angered A so much that he backed out of their agreement, hoping that T would be disappointed Story Understanding (contd) Thomas s perspective Albert s perspective Success Success Intentional Problem Resolution Loss Retaliation ve Tradeoff

20 Story Understanding (contd) Summary: Albert retaliated against Thomas because Thomas went through an intentional problem resolution that was bad for Robert. The retaliation caused a loss for Thomas and a positive tradeoff for Albert. The loss reversed Thomas s previous success, and the positive tradeoff reversed Albert s previous success. Question Answering: 1. What is this story about? most highly connected unit Retaliation 2. What is the result? top level units joined with central unit loss (Thomas) and positive tradeoff (Robert) 3. In what way is this story like the story of John and Mary? Both involve retaliation, also success, intention problem resolution, loss and positive tradeoff Success Loss Intentional Problem Resolution Retaliation all common units Success ve Tradeoff Meansends Analysis Idea: to reduce difference between goal state and current state I O 3 S T G O 1 O 2 O 3 Continue until the path between I and G is connected Applied in planning

21 Problem Reduction Goaldirected: Andgoals, Orgoals trees Examples: planning, expert system, theorem proving Open Safe (locked by key) Unlock Breakin Turn key Pick lock Blow up safe Insert key Get key Access Get Know Get to lock Tool How Dynamite Study Learn from books from crooks Get Matches Problem Reduction (contd) Goaldirected: Andgoals, Orgoals trees Examples: planning, expert system, theorem proving Given: s, t true and the following implication rules 1. q p r p v q p s r t r q r u 6. s u v Prove or disprove p t s Change the graph to AND graph, can you prove p? Is q p and r p the same as q r p?

22 Recap: Problemsolving techniques General problemsolving techniques Generate and test Describe and match abstraction featurebased similaritybased Means ends Analysis Problem Reduction Representations how to describe problem space what to abstract Search choose best alternatives Pattern matching when to terminate search Search Control Control Problem: When searching for a solution path from an initial state, there may be many alternatives to move from one state to another. How does the system select the appropriate state to move to? Try all exhaustive search Try most likely one AI search using heuristics

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