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Artificial Intelligence Problem Set 1

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Artificial Intelligence Problem Set 1
Problem 1. (20 pts) Rush Hour
Consider the following “Rush Hour” puzzle. Recall that the rules for solving the
puzzle are that vehicles can move only back or forward (no turning). The goal is to get
the red car out of the parking lot through the exit at right.
2.1 (1 pt) Solve the problem and present your solution.
2.2 (7 pts) Give as accurate an estimate as you can for the size of the problem space
for this puzzle. (The estimate should be for this instance of the puzzle, not a “general”
estimate for an arbitrary Rush Hour puzzle.) Explain the rationale behind your
estimate.

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Artificial Intelligence Problem Set 1
Problem 1. (20 pts) Rush Hour
Consider the following “Rush Hour” puzzle. Recall that the rules for solving the
puzzle are that vehicles can move only back or forward (no turning). The goal is to get
the red car out of the parking lot through the exit at right.
2.1 (1 pt) Solve the problem and present your solution.
2.2 (7 pts) Give as accurate an estimate as you can for the size of the problem space
for this puzzle. (The estimate should be for this instance of the puzzle, not a “general”
estimate for an arbitrary Rush Hour puzzle.) Explain the rationale behind your
estimate.
2.3 (7 pts) Suggest a plausible “h” function that would be appropriate for A* search
for a general instance of the Rush Hour puzzle. (The function should be a non-trivial
but easily computable underestimate of the number of moves required to solve the
puzzle from a given position.)
2.4 (5 pts) Did your solution in 2.1 have features in common with (e.g.) depth-first
search? Breadth-first search? Means-ends analysis? Would bidirectional search be a
good idea for this puzzle? Why or why not?
Problem 2. (15 pts) Bidirectional Search
Answer problem 3.15 (p. 116) in the Russell-Norvig text.
Problem 3. (15 pts) Turing and Searle
Choose your favorite of the “objections” from either the Turing or Searle papers and
write a short paragraph or two explaining why you find that particular objection
particularly provocative (regardless of whether you actually agree or disagree with it).
Problem 4. (50 pts) Implementing Depth-First Search
Consider the “milk-can transfer” problem shown in class. (Briefly: there are two 40-
quart cans, both full; one empty five-quart can; and one empty four-quart can. Your
job is to transfer milk between the cans without spilling until there are two quarts in
each of the smaller cans.)
5.1 (5 pts) With as much accuracy as you can, calculate the size of the problem space
for this problem. (Or, to put it another way: how many distinct achievable states are
there?)
5.2 (45 pts) Write, in whatever language you prefer, a depth-first search algorithm that
solves the milk-transfer puzzle and show a well-documented printout of your program
and solution. Try to experiment with variations on the basic DFS algorithm shown in
class: for instance, you might want to experiment with a version that maintains both
an “open” and “closed” (i.e., “already-tested”) list of nodes.

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