Exploring Artificial Intelligence in the New Millennium

Reviewed by Major Keary

This text contains thirteen papers presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2001 (IJCAI-01). The preface says, "[at the beginning of the new millennium] there are so many subareas in AI—with their own conferences and journals—that it is hard to keep track of what is going on. For … [IJCAI-01] it was decided to counter this fragmentation of the field by bringing together excellent research from different subareas. Thirteen distinguished recent papers from international conferences on robotics, vision, knowledge representation, machine learning, planning, and other areas were selected to be presented again at IJCAI-01. These papers either received 'best paper' awards at the respective conferences or were nominated as outstanding work by the respective program chairs, committee members, or the IJCAI program committee members. … in addition … the authors were asked to revise and extend their papers for this book".

The hard-copy book is out of print, but it is available at an e-book, ISBN 9780080506155.

An interesting feature is that the book was "author typeset using LaTeX", something that would have made the transition from hard-copy to e-book a simple operation. It is a showcase for TeX/LaTeX; throughout the text there is an astonishing range of formulae, notation systems, mathematical and scientific expressions, and diagrams. The typography is superb; not a trace of the awkward contrivances that mark DIY layout programs. The extensive lists of references that accompany each paper are faultless.

Constructing an index for several stand-alone papers presents problems; in this title Key Words Index is used to describe a sparse and less-than-useful listing in which many of the page references are out of kilter. Bringing multiple documents together poses a very difficult indexing problem. However, one of the great advantages of an e-book is being able to search the complete body.

The papers cover:

  • Robotics
  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Planning
  • Vision
  • Knowledge Representation
  • AI and Education
  • Reasoning under Uncertainty
  • Computational Learning Theory
  • Theorem Proving
  • Constraint Satisfaction
  • Information Retrieval
  • Data Mining

A strict academic format is observed, but the several authors maintain a remarkable clarity of language. While advances in artificial intelligence have been made since 2001, my impression is that Exploring Artificial Intelligence in the New Millennium is still relevant, fully describing work that is the foundation of current state of the various sub-areas of AI.

Its e-book reincarnation is a good reason for that form of publishing with the advantages of global searching. The e-book enables important texts to stay alive instead of being entombed in a reference library. This tile in particular demonstrates the power of TeX/LaTeX, and their successors, for the e-book format.

Ed. G. Lakemeyer and B. Nebel: Exploring Artificial Intelligence in the New Millennium
ISBN 1-55860-511-7
Published by Morgan Kaufamann, 404 pp., RRP

The e-book is available from Elevier Science. Contact Elsevier Australia Customer Service tel. 1800 263 951, fax 02 9517 2249, or email service@elsevier.com.au">service@elsevier.com.au


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