AAAI Publications, First AAAI Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence

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Teaching Introductory Artificial Intelligence with Pac-Man
John DeNero, Dan Klein

Last modified: 2010-07-05


The projects that we have developed for UC Berkeley’s introductory artificial intelligence (AI) course teach foundational concepts using the classic video game Pac-Man. There are four project topics: state-space search, multi-agent search, probabilistic inference, and reinforcement learning. Each project requires students to implement general-purpose AI algorithms and then to inject domain knowledge about the Pac- Man environment using search heuristics, evaluation functions, and feature functions. We have found that the Pac-Man theme adds consistency to the course, as well as tapping in to students’ excitement about video games.

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