potential new POP user 
Author Message
 potential new POP user

Hi folks,

I'm a Computer Science student currently enrolled in an Artificial
Intelligence class.  Our final project (due in about 7 or 8 weeks and
class started tonight) is to either:

a) create an AI program

or

b) write a paper on the subject

I would *like* to learn how to write an AI program (someone please tell
me that POP is used for this! ;) )  but I'm a bit worried that I won't
be able to learn the software in time for a project.  Could someone who
learns computer languages with some difficulty (I don't always get
things right away, but I may just be stubborn) pick up the software and
use it to create a program in that short of time?  

Thanks for the advice!

Joe



Sat, 15 Nov 2003 11:49:50 GMT  
 potential new POP user

Hi,

I'm sure you'll get more than one reply to this, but FWIW, here's
my opinion. (I'm trying to get in first, because this is very
much my own opinion, and I do *not* want to be the one to have the
last word on this.)

Quote:
>Hi folks,

>I'm a Computer Science student currently enrolled in an Artificial
>Intelligence class.  Our final project (due in about 7 or 8 weeks and
>class started tonight) is to either:

You don't say if this class is an option as part of a general
introductory year, or an advanced option in a final year. It makes
a difference in my mind how to answer.

Quote:
>a) create an AI program

>or

>b) write a paper on the subject

>I would *like* to learn how to write an AI program (someone please tell
>me that POP is used for this! ;) )  but I'm a bit worried that I won't

Yes, POP is a good choice for writing AI programs.

Quote:
>be able to learn the software in time for a project.  Could someone who
>learns computer languages with some difficulty (I don't always get

I take it that means you already know at least one computer language?

Quote:
>things right away, but I may just be stubborn) pick up the software and
>use it to create a program in that short of time?  

The short answer is "yes".

Whether it is better for you to do this or write a paper depends on
what kind of programming project is expected (which, in turn, depends
on whether you are doing an intro or an advanced option, and what
fraction of your time is available for the project).

Unless you are an ace programmer, you are not going to make a program
capable of writing Shakespearean sonnets in six weeks (although, come
to think of it, as long as you don't expect them to make too much
sense, the "TEACH grammar" file has a section on "How to generate
sentences" and this is intended for first year students IIRC ... :-)

There are a lot of other "TEACH" files that discuss the basics of
a number of other areas of AI, with programming examples and
library programs that can be used for these purposes. Some of them
get pretty advanced.

Your best bet is to spend a few hours (at most) working through
some of the first few TEACH files to get a feel for whether you
feel comfortable with it or not. Then decide. I think we'd all be
interested to hear your reactions.

Quote:
>Thanks for the advice!

You are welcome.

The bottom line is that it depends on how much you enjoy programming
(compared to writing a paper), what programming language(s) you
already know -- starting from some of them can even make it harder
to learn POP than for a complete beginner -- and how advanced a
project is expected for this course.

Jonathan

--
Jonathan L Cunningham



Sat, 15 Nov 2003 18:36:41 GMT  
 potential new POP user
Hmm... let me answer your questions:

Quote:
> You don't say if this class is an option as part of a general
> introductory year, or an advanced option in a final year. It makes
> a difference in my mind how to answer.

The class is an upper-level class, necessary to complete the degree.  It
will the only one that I'm taking relating to AI.

Quote:
> I take it that means you already know at least one computer language?

Mostly C++ at the moment

Quote:
> The bottom line is that it depends on how much you enjoy programming
> (compared to writing a paper), what programming language(s) you
> already know -- starting from some of them can even make it harder
> to learn POP than for a complete beginner -- and how advanced a
> project is expected for this course.

> Jonathan

> --
> Jonathan L Cunningham

Hmmm.. thanks Jonathan.  I think I'll need to dabble a bit with POP and
see how comfortable I am right off the bat.  

Joe Burby



Sat, 15 Nov 2003 19:04:10 GMT  
 potential new POP user

Quote:

>Hmm... let me answer your questions:

>> I take it that means you already know at least one computer language?

>Mostly C++ at the moment

Nobody else has replied (yet), so I'll respond to that.

I have several years experience of C++ programming, and a similar
amount of experience of POP11 programming. I've written AI programs
in both C++ and POP11.

It takes me about 3 times as long to write an AI program in C++ as
it does in POP11 -- and that's when I'm sure what I'm doing. In the
past, when I've wanted to experiment, I've found it saved time in
writing a C++ AI program to first program it in POP11, and then,
when I was happy with what I had, to write the C++ version. (Why
write a C++ version when I had a POP11 version? If you ask that
question, it is clear you have never worked in industry ...)

Having said that, I remember an ex-colleague who was very experienced
in C++ who gave up on trying to learn POP11 because it was so
different from what he was used to. (But he wasn't writing AI
programs either.) So I'm not changing my earlier advice.

Jonathan

P.S. I just had a thought: how long does it take me to write
a "Hello World" program in C++ versus POP11? About 3 times
as long ... :-) viz:

   [hello world]=> ;;;one line of code

versus

   #include <iostream.h>

   int main(int argc, char** argv) {
        cout << "Hello world" << endl;
        return 0;  //4 lines of code
   }

I don't count the closing brace :-).
A slightly silly PS, but it might amuse some people. It amuses me.

--
Jonathan L Cunningham



Sun, 16 Nov 2003 04:27:02 GMT  
 
 [ 4 post ] 

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