Information about the Virtual Archive of Classic Publications

AITopics List of Classic & Influential Publications in AI

Selection & Editing of Titles

Our working assumptions have been that the comprehensive list of early publications compiled by Marvin Minsky (1963) does not have to be redone and that the subsequent exponential growth of AI precludes an updated compilation of such breadth.   We also assume that making many of the classic and influential publications available online will help contemporary students understand and appreciate the development of ideas they are using.  We also hope that collecting online versions will help preserve the historical record.

We started with the union of four comprehensive lists of books and articles:   Minsky's bibliography (1963), all references cited in the four-volume Handbook of AI (1981-89), the long set of references in the popular introductory text by Russell and Norvig (2002),  and the broad-ranging set of references in Nilsson's Quest for AI (2010).   We  collected many thousands of additional bibliographic entries from the sources listed below as they appeared to complement the first set.   (Not surprisingly, there was considerable overlap in these lists.)  We  removed items that were published less than 20 years ago, after 1993, and items that appeared not to be in the mainstream of the development of AI.  However,  all items were initially selected and published by well-respected authorities.

We exercised our own subjective judgment to select a few publications  that seemed to have had significant influence on AI  from other fields -- e.g., mathematics, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and engineering.   And when an author wrote more than one publication on essentially the same topic, we selected one or more that seemed representtive (but not necessarily the earliest ones).  

 Of the early works (published through 1970), 250 are tagged as "starred" when they appear to be especially important in defining the directions AI has taken, with a  "4STAR" tag for the oldest items.  After 1970 the rate of publications accelerated rapidly.

 We welcome suggestions --  about other titles that should be included, or substituted, or deleted.  We would particularly like to hear from authors about their publications they consider to be most influential and those that are "canonical" references for a research theme discussed in several articles.



We especially thank Colleen van Lent (University of Michigan) for compiling the initial list of classic papers, Fellows of the AAAI for sending suggestions (many with URLs),  and Robert Lindsay (University of Michigan) for checking and correcting numerous URLs.    Errors of omission are due to oversight or ignarance, and we will greatly appreciate having them pointed out. 



AAAI Classic Papers Awards (and references therein)

A.Barr, P. Cohen, & E.A.Feigenbaum, The AI Handbook (4 vols) (1981-89)

B.G. Buchanan and  D. C. Wilkins (eds.).  (1993)  Readings in knowledge acquisition and learning : automating the construction and improvement of expert systems.

Campaigne, Howard E.  "Time Is, Time Was, Time Was Past: Computers for Intelligence"

Read before the MIL-E-CON 8, 16 Sept 1964.

H. Knight, Early Artificial Intelligence Projects: A Student Perspective.  (2006).  

J.Laird, Cognitive Architectures (2012)

J.McCarthy & P.Hayes, Some philosophical problems from the standpoint of artificial intelligence (1969).

D.Michie, On Machine Intelligence (1974)

D. Michie, et al.  Machine Intelligence Workshops 1-13 (1969-1994) -- conference papers plus references in selected papers.

M.Minsky, Bibliography of AI (reprinted in Computers & Thought) (1963)

S. Muggleton "Logic and Learning: Turing's legacy", MI-13 (1994)

N.Nilsson, The Quest for Artificial Intelligence (2010).

J.A. Robinson, "Logic, Computers, Turing and von Neumann", MI-13 (1994)

S.Russell & P.Norvig,  Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (Third Edition) (2002).

Science Citation Index, most frequently cited papers in AI

A. Sloman, The Computer Revolution in Philosophy (1978)

D.Subramanian, & B.G. Buchanan, Reading List for Stanford Ph.D. Qualifiying Exam in AI. (1985)

B.L. Webber and N.J. Nilsson (eds.), Readings in Artificial Intelligence,  Tioga Publishing, (1981)




Still to Consider

D.Leake, Bibliography of AI

T. Mitchell, Machine Learning

Other textbooks + overview articles in topic areas

Additional robotics, psychology

Springer Journals & Lecture Notes (~250K publications)

References from early articles in Springer jnls, e.g., Machine Learning (1986)