The Department of Computer Science & Engineering
UB CSE 4/563

CSE 4/563: Knowledge Representation
Stuart C. Shapiro
Spring, 2004

Mondays & Wednesdays, 11:00 - 12:20, 117 Baldy

"Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." -- Donald Rumsfeld, February 2002

"We think we know what he means. But we don't know if we really know." -- John Lister, spokesman for Britain's Plain English Campaign, December 1, 2003.

Lecturer TA Class Meetings
Text On-Line Resources Additional Readings
Newsgroups Homeworks Projects
Grading Academic Policies Sample Project Report
Syllabus Important Dates Gradesheet
Prof. Stuart C. Shapiro, 326 Bell Hall, 645-3180 ext. 125,
Office Hours: T 1:30 - 2:20, Th 11:00 - 11:50, F 2:00 - 2:50
or make an appointment via email. See my schedule for my available times.

Jonathan Bona, Trailer E05, 645-3771,
Office Hours: M 2:00 - 3:00, W 2:00 - 4:00

Class Meetings:
463 LectureShapiro MW 11:00-12:20 Baldy 117
563 LectureShapiro MW 11:00-12:20 Baldy 117
463 Recitation B Bona 455645 W 4:00-4:50Clemens 6
563 Recitation B Bona 287630 W 4:00-4:50Clemens 6
463 Recitation B1 Bona 296482 M 3:00-3:50Clemens 6
563 Recitation B1 Bona 423250 M 3:00-3:50Clemens 6

Ronald J. Brachman & Hector J. Levesque, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Elsevier Science, 2004. (Referred to below as B&L.) Obtain from Makin' Copies in the UB Commons.

Additional Readings:

On-Line Resources: Click here

You should subscribe to the newsgroup sunyab.cse.563 and read it regularly. It will be monitored by the lecture and recitation instructors, and will be used for announcements meant for the entire class. You may also use it to ask questions, for example, for clarification of assignments between class and recitation meetings.
Do not use the newsgroup to share answers to assignments.

The purposes of homework exercises are: to give you hands-on experience with relatively small problems; to give you a chance to assess the level of your understanding; to give you experience with the kinds of questions that may be asked on exams. Small programming exercises may be assigned as homework exercises. Homeworks will be assigned in lecture and via this web page. The due date will be announced when the homework is assigned, and will be contained on the homework assignment. They will be due at the beginning of lecture on that date, but will be returned and reviewed in recitation. Some homeworks will be submitted electronically (using submit_cse463 or submit_cse563), in which case instructions will be given with the homework assignment. NO LATE HOMEWORKS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Grading: Each homework exercise will be worth some modest number of points, which will be stated when the exercise is assigned. The final homework grade will be the percentage of total points possible that were actually earned. To make up for any occasional poor performance on homeworks or for late or missed homeworks, there will occasionally be homework questions worth bonus points.

There will be three programming projects during the semester. Each one will involve building and demonstrating a knowledge-based system. You will be given a corpus of knowledge expressed in English, and some questions to be answered and/or tasks to be performed. The KR language and reasoning system to be used will be given more or less specifically. It will be up to you to formalize the corpus/questions/tasks and add any background knowledge "normally assumed".

For each project, you will be expected to hand in a conference-style paper, produced using a document formatting program such as Microsoft Word or LaTeX, and printed on 8.5 by 11 inch paper, stapled in the upper left-hand corner, with your own title page (rather than the page automatically produced by the printer), plus a well-documented listing and run of your program. (Do not enclose your paper in a folder or cover.) The main product of your work is the paper, not the program! For general advice on how to prepare a written report, see William J. Rapaport, How to Write. A sample CSE 4/563 paper will be posted before the first project is due.

In addition to the paper, you are to submit (using submit_cse463 or submit_cse563) your program, so that it can be run and checked if the instructors choose.

You will have three to four weeks to do each project. The due date and time will be announced when the project is assigned.

Each project will be graded on a scale of 0 - 100%. A finer break-down will be announced with each project. In general, aspects of writing the paper will be weighted more heavily for CSE563 students than for CSE463 students, and aspects of correctness of the program will be weighted more heavily for CSE463 students than for CSE563 students.

Late projects will be penalized 10 points per 24-hour period, or part thereof. The later of the time the paper is turned in and the time the program is submitted will be the time used. You may turn in late papers either to the lecturer, the TA, or the CSE Department office (201 Bell Hall). Realize that the only times you may be sure that anyone will be available to accept your paper is immediately before or after the lecture, immediately before or after the recitation, or during office hours---plan ahead.

Each homework problem will be assigned a point value. Homework points will be cumulative. The final homework grade will be the percent of points earned over maximum points possible. (Due to the availability of bonus points, this might be greater than 100%.) Each project will be graded on the basis of 0-100%, then the project grades will be averaged. Each exam will be graded on the basis of 0-100%. The final course grade will be a weighted average of the total homeworks, the average projects, the midterm exam, and the final exam, according to the following weights:
Midterm Exam25%
Final Exam30%

The default mapping from percents to letter grades will be the "standard" curve:

CSE 463CSE 563 
93-100A  77-79C+         93-100A  77-79C+
90-92A-  73-76C    90-92A-  70-76C
87-89B+  70-72C-    87-89B+  60-69D
83-86B  67-69D+    83-86B  0-59F
80-82B-  60-66D    80-82B-
A more generous curve may be used. If so, it will be derived from the scores of the CSE 463 population.

You should check the electronic grade sheet regularly, and promptly report any discrepancy between the grades shown there and your own records of your grades to the Lecturer or the TA. The grade sheet is only available to UB addresses.

Academic Policies:
This course will abide by the Departmental Academic Integrity policies and procedures,
and the Departmental Incomplete policy. The short versions are:

This course will also abide by the University's principles and procedures regarding students with disabilities. See the Office of Disability Services' statement on UB's Commitment to Disability Access. Notify the lecturer if you need any accommodations under these policies.

  1. Introduction to Course (Jan. 12)
  2. Introduction to Knowledge Representation and Reasoning and to Logic (Jan. 14): B&L, Chap. 1; Chap 1 slides; Shapiro 2004, Chap. 1
  3. CarPool World: A Simple Motivating Example (Jan. 14): Chap 2 slides; Shapiro 2004, Sec. 2.1
  4. Propositional Logic
    1. The "Standard" Logic (Jan 14, 21, 26): B&L, Chap. 2; Chap 2 slides; Shapiro 2004, Sec. 2.2; Semantic Tableaux By Hand.
    2. Clause Form Logic (Jan 28, Feb 2):B&L, Chap. 4; Chap 2.3 slides.
  5. Elementary Predicate Logic
    1. The "Standard" Logic (Feb 4, 9): B&L, Chap. 2; Chap 3 slides.
    2. Clause Form Logic (Feb 9, 11): Chap 3 slides.
  6. Full First-Order Predicate Logic
    1. The "Standard" Logic (Feb 11, 16): B&L, Chap. 2; Chap 4 slides
    2. Clause Form Logic (Feb 16, 18, 23, 25): B&L, Chap. 4; Chap 4 slides
  7. Prolog (March 8, 10): B&L, Chap. 5, 6; Chap 5 slides
  8. A Potpourri of Subdomains (March 10, 22, 24): Chap 6 slides
  9. SNePS (March 24, 29, 31): SNePS: A Logic for Natural Language Understanding and Commonsense Reasoning, Chap 7 slides
  10. Acting Languages (April 5, 7): SNePS 2.6 User's Manual, Chapter 4.
  11. Belief Revision/Truth-Maintenance Systems (April 12, 19): Chap 9 slides
  12. The Situation Calculus (April 21): B&L, Chap. 14, Chap 10 slides, Examples for running in ACL

Important Dates:
(Note: The Final Exam will be during Finals Week, and will be comprehensive.)
Monday, January 12 First lecture meeting
Friday, January 16 Last day to drop without financial penalty
Monday, January 19 No classes - Martin Luther King Day
Wednesday, January 21 First meeting of recitation B
Friday, January 23 Last day to drop or add courses
Monday, January 26 First meeting of recitation B1
Monday, February 2, 10:30 AM HW1 due via submit. Solutions are now posted.
Monday, February 9 HW2a due in hard-copy at 11:00 AM at start of lecture, or at 10:45 AM via submit
and HW2b due at 10:45 AM via submit.
HW2a solutions and HW2b solutions are now posted.
Monday, February 16, 11:00 AM HW3 due in hard-copy. HW3 solutions are now posted.
Wednesday, February 25, 11:00 AM Project 1 due. A sample paper and sample KB are available.
Monday, March 1 Midterm Exam Solutions posted
Friday, March 5 Last day to withdraw and recieve a grade of R
Monday, March 8, 10:45 AM HW4 due via submit. HW4 solutions are now posted, along with the HW4 KB.
March 15-19 No classes - Spring Break
Wednesday, March 24, 10:45 & 11:00 AM HW5 due via submit and in hard-copy. HW5 solutions are now posted
Monday, April 5, 11:00 AM Project 2 due. A sample paper and sample KB are available.
Monday, April 12, 10:45 AM Homework 6 due via submit. HW6 solutions are now posted.
Wednesday, April 21 Last meeting of recitation B
Monday, April 26 Last lecture meeting
Monday, April 26, 11:00 AM Project 3 due.
Monday, April 26 Last meeting of recitation B1
Thursday, April 29, 8:00 - 11:00 AM Final Exam, Room 127 Cooke Hall.

Stuart C. Shapiro <>