If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
"In this article we take a step towards providing an analysis of the Soar architecture as a basis for general intelligence. Included are discussions of the basic assumptions underlying the development of Soar, a description of Soar cast in terms of the theoretical idea of multiple levels of description, an example of Soar performing multi-column subtraction, and three analyses of Soar: its natural tasks, the sources of its power, and its scope and limits"Artificial Intelligence, 47, 289-325.
"Chunking, a simple experience-based learning mechanism, is Soar's only learning mechanism. Chunking creates new items of information, called chunks, based on the results of problem-solving and stores them in the knowledge base. These chunks are accessed and used in appropriate later situations to avoid the problem-solving required to determine them. It is already well-established that chunking improves performance in Soar when viewed in terms of the subproblems required and the number of steps within a subproblem. However, despite the reduction in number of steps, sometimes there may be a severe degradation in the total run time. This problem arises due to expensive chunks, i.e., chunks that require a large amount of effort in accessing them from the knowledge base. They pose a major problem for Soar, since in their presence, no guarantees can be given about Soar's performance.In this article, we establish that expensive chunks exist and analyze their causes. We use this analysis to propose a solution for expensive chunks. The solution is based on the notion of restricting the expressiveness of the representational language to guarantee that the chunks formed will require only a limited amount of accessing effort. We analyze the tradeoffs involved in restricting expressiveness and present some empirical evidence to support our analysis."Machine Learning, 5, 299-348.
Rosenbloom, P. S. | Newell, A.
"The ultimate goal of work in cognitive architecture is to provide the foundation for a system capable of general intelligent behavior. That is, the goal is to provide the underlying structure that would enable a system to perform the full range of cognitive tasks, employ the full range of problem solving methods and representations appropriate for the tasks, and learn about all aspects of the tasks and its performance on them. In this article we present SOAR, an implemented proposal for such an architecture. We describe its organizational principles, the system as currently implemented, and demonstrations of its capabilities." Artificial Intelligence, 33(1):1-64.
"This paper presents an experiment in knowledge-intensive programming within a general problem-solving production-system architecture called Soar. In Soar, knowledge is encoded within a set of problem spaces, which yields a system capable of reasoning from first principles. Expertise consists of additional rules that guide complex problem-space searches and substitute for expensive problem-space operators. The resulting system uses both knowledge and search when relevant. Expertise knowledge is acquired either by having it programmed, or by a chunking mechanism that automatically learns new rules reflecting the results implicit in the knowledge of the problem spaces. The approach is demonstrated on the computer-system configuration task, the task performed by the expert system R1."IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 7, 561-569.
Kant, E. | Newell, A.
"By studying the problem-solving techniques that people use to design algorithms we can learn something about building systems that automatically derive algorithms or assist human designers. In this paper we present a model of algorithm design based on our analysis of the protocols of two subjects designing three convex hull algorithms. The subjects work mainly in a data-flow problem space in which the objects are representations of partially specified algorithms. A small number of general-purpose operators construct and modify the representations; these operators are adapted to the current problem state by means-ends analysis. The problem space also includes knowledge-rich schemas such as divide and conquer that subjects incorporate into their algorithms. A particularly versatile problem-solving method in this problem space is symbolic execution, which can be used to refine, verify, or explain components of an algorithm. The subjects also work in a task-domain space about geometry. The interplay between problem solving in the two spaces makes possible the process of discovery. We have observed that the time a subject takes to design an algorithm is proportional to the number of components in the algorithm's data-flow representation. Finally, the details of the problem spaces provide a model for building a robust automated system." Information Processing and Management 20(l-2):97-118
Newell, A. | Rosenbloom, P. S.
"Practice, and the performance improvement that it engenders, has long been a major topic in psychology. In this paper, both experimental and theoretical approaches are employed in an investigation of the mechanisms underlying this improvement On the experimental side, it is argued that a single law, the power law of practice, adequately describes all of the practice data. On the theoretical side, a model of practice rooted in modern cognitive psychology, the chunking theory of learning, is formulated. The paper consists of (1) the presentation of a set of empirical practice curves; (2) mathematical investigations into the nature of power law functions; (3) evaluations of the ability of three different classes of functions to adequatdy model the empirical curves; (4) a discussion of the existing models of practice; (5) a presentation of the chunking theory of learning."In J. R. Anderson (Ed.), Cognitive Skills and their Acquisition (pp. 1-55). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
"The obvious method of determining which productions are satisfied on a given cycle involves matching productions, one at a time, against the contents of working memory. The cost of this processing is essentially linear in the product of the number of productions in production memory and the number of assertions in working memory. By augmenting a production system architecture with a mechanism that enables knowledge of similarities among productions to be precomputed and then exploited during a run, it is possible to eliminate the dependency on the size of production memory. If in addition, the architecture is augmented with a mechanism that enables knowledge of the degree to which each production is currently satisfied to be maintained across cycles, then the dependency on the size of working memory can be eliminated as well. After a particular production system architecture, PSG, is described, two sets of mechanisms that increase its efficiency are presented. To determine their effectiveness, two augmented versions of PSG are compared experimentally with each other and with the original version." In Waterman and Hayes-Roth, 155- 176.