15-780, Spring 2023

Graduate Artificial Intelligence


Key Information Please email TAs to be added to the Piazza and/or Gradescope for the class.

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00pm - 3:20pm, Margaret Morrison (MM) Room A14.

45% homework, 20% midterm, 30% course project, 5% participation

This course provides a broad perspective on AI, covering (i) classical approaches of search and planning useful for robotics, (ii) integer programming and continuous optimization that form the bedrock for many AI algorithms, (iii) modern machine learning techniques including deep learning that power many recent AI applications, (iv) game theory and multi-agent systems, and (v) issues of bias and unfairness in AI. In addition to understanding the theoretical foundations, we will also study modern algorithms in the research literature.


There are no formal pre-requisites for the course, but students should have previous programming experience (programming assignments will be given in Python), as well as some general CS background. Please see the instructors if you are unsure whether your background is suitable for the course.

Office Hours

Name Email Hours
Aditi Raghunathan aditirag@cs.cmu.edu Thursdays 1 pm - 2 pm (GHC 7005)
Tuomas Sandholm sandholm@cs.cmu.edu Mondays 3:20 pm - 4:20 pm (while walking from class to GHC 9205 and then at GHC 9205)
Siddharth Prasad sprasad2@cs.cmu.edu Fridays 4 pm - 5 pm, Gates 5th floor tables by Pausch Bridge
Brian Zhang bhzhang@cs.cmu.edu Tuesdays 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm, Gates 5th floor tables by Pausch Bridge

Schedule (Subject to change)

Homework Schedule

HW Release date Due date
1 (download link) 1/30 2/13
2 (download link) 2/15 3/5
3 (download link) 3/1 (release date delayed to 3/5) 3/22
Project proposal instructions 3/5 3/17
4 (download link) 3/22 4/10
5 (download link) 4/12 4/24
Assigned readings are from the book "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach", 4th edition, by Russell and Norvig.

Lecture Schedule

Date Topic Lecturer Homework/Reading
1/18 Introduction. slides Raghunathan/Sandholm Chapters 1 and 2 (Chapter 3 optional)
1/23 Search. slides Sandholm Sections 3.1 - 3.4
1/25 Constraint Satisfaction, SAT. slides Sandholm Section 6
1/30 Constraint Satisfaction, SAT. slides Sandholm HW 1 released
2/1 Informed search. slides Sandholm Sections 3.5-3.6
2/6 Informed search. slides Sandholm
2/8 Linear programming. slides Raghunathan
2/13 Advanced informed search, integer programming. slides Sandholm HW 1 due
2/15 Advanced informed search, integer programming. slides Sandholm HW 2 released
2/20 Continuous Optimization - I. slides Raghunathan
2/22 Continuous Optimization - II. slides Raghunathan
2/27 Guest lecture - Binary decision diagrams for discrete optimization. slides Willem-Jan van Hoeve
3/1 Midterm HW 2 due date extended to 3/5. HW 3 released (3/5).
3/6 Spring Break
3/8 Spring Break
3/13 Machine Learning - I. slides Raghunathan
3/15 Machine Learning - II. slides Raghunathan Project proposal due 3/17.
3/20 Machine learning - III. slides Raghunathan
3/22 Probabilistic Graphical Models - I. slides 1, slides 2 Raghunathan HW 3 due/HW 4 released
3/27 Probabilistic Graphical Models - II. slides 1, slides 2 Raghunathan
3/29 Reinforcement Learning. slides 1, slides 2 Raghunathan
4/3 Reinforcement Learning. slides Raghunathan
4/5 Game Theory I - Game Representations, Solution Concepts, and Refinements of Nash Equilibrium. slides Sandholm
4/10 Game Theory I - Game Representations, Solution Concepts, and Refinements of Nash Equilibrium. slides Sandholm HW 4 due
4/12 Game Theory II - Regret Minimization and Applications to Solving Games. slides Sandholm HW 5 Released
4/17 Superhuman two-player no-limit Texas hold'em: Libratus. Subgame solving in imperfect-information games. Self-improver. slides Sandholm Science 2018 paper
4/19 Depth-limited subgame solving. Superhuman multi-player no-limit Texas hold'em. slides Sandholm Science 2019 paper
4/24 Guest lecture - How AI enables the transition to Driverless Vehicles Drew Bagnell, Chief Scientist and Co-founder, Aurora Innovation, Consulting Professor, Carnegie Mellon HW 5 due
4/26 Project poster session

Homework Assignments

There will be five assignments: they will involve both written answers and programming assignments. Written questions will involve working through algorithms presented in the class, deriving and proving mathematical results, and critically analyzing the material presented in class. Programming assignments will involve writing code in Python to implement various algorithms presented in class.

Instructions for submitting homework will be added soon.

Homework Policies

  • You can use no more than 3 late days per assignment and no more than a total of 8 late days over the semester. These late days can and should be used in the event that something comes up that you did not plan for. You do not need to notify the course staff if you plan to use them. No credit will be given for assignments submitted more than 3 days (72 hours) after the posted deadline.

  • You can discuss both the programming and written portions with other students, but all final submitted work (code and writeups) must be done entirely on your own, without looking at any notes generated during group discussions. Be sure to mention your collaborators' names and Andrew IDs in your writeup.

  • Can search the internet for references but you are not allowed to post the questions on stackoverflow or anywhere else.

  • If you reference any code or sources other than the materials provided on the course website or the textbook, you must mention the source. If you have any questions about whether or not you can use a source, please ask.

Course project

The course project can be done in groups of 1-3.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability and have an accommodations letter from the Disability Resources office, we encourage you to discuss your accommodations and needs with us as early in the semester as possible. We will work with you to ensure that accommodations are provided as appropriate. If you suspect that you may have a disability and would benefit from accommodations but are not yet registered with the Office of Disability Resources, we encourage you to visit their website.

Statement of Support for Students’ Health & Well-being

Take care of yourself. Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is almost always helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at http://www.cmu.edu/counseling/. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

If you have questions about this or your coursework, please let us know. Thank you, and have a great semester.

Statement of Commitment to a Diverse Learning Environment

We must treat every individual with respect. We are diverse in many ways, and this diversity is fundamental to building and maintaining an equitable and inclusive campus community. Diversity can refer to multiple ways that we identify ourselves, including but not limited to race, color, national origin, language, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information. Each of these diverse identities, along with many others not mentioned here, shape the perspectives our students, faculty, and staff bring to our campus. We, at CMU, will work to promote diversity, equity and inclusion not only because diversity fuels excellence and innovation, but because we want to pursue justice. We acknowledge our imperfections while we also fully commit to the work, inside and outside of our classrooms, of building and sustaining a campus community that increasingly embraces these core values.

Each of us is responsible for creating a safer, more inclusive environment.

Unfortunately, incidents of bias or discrimination do occur, whether intentional or unintentional. They contribute to creating an unwelcoming environment for individuals and groups at the university. Therefore, the university encourages anyone who experiences or observes unfair or hostile treatment on the basis of identity to speak out for justice and support, within the moment of the incident or after the incident has passed. Anyone can share these experiences using the following resources:

  • Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion: csdi@andrew.cmu.edu, (412) 268-2150
  • Report-It online anonymous reporting platform: reportit.net username: tartans password: plaid

All reports will be documented and deliberated to determine if there should be any following actions. Regardless of incident type, the university will use all shared experiences to transform our campus climate to be more equitable and just.