CS 6766: Reasoning About Uncertainty - Spring 2013

Instructor: Joe Halpern, 4130 Upson, halpern@cs.cornell.edu, 5-9562
Admin: Megran McGrane, 4130B Upson, mm2496@cornell.edu 5-0893
TA: Adam Bjorndahl, Malott 218, abjorndahl@math.cornell.edu.
Classes:Tuesday, Thursday 10:10 - 11:25; Upson 315
Office hours
Halpern: Wednesdays, 4-5 (in Upson 4130)
Bjorndahl: Tuesdays 11:30 - 12:30 (in Upson 360, Bay C)
Text: Reasoning About Uncertainty (Halpern). (It should be available in the bookstore. The paperback version is marginally better (and should be cheaper), but the hardcover version is OK too. The paperback version corrects a number of typos and minor errors in the hardcover version.) Unfortunately, there are still typos in paperback version; a list of those that have been discovered so far can be found at http://mitpress2.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=10758&xid=13&xcid=8006. I'm sure there are even more lurking in the book; if you discover any, let me know!

Grading: There will be no tests or final examination. There will be problems handed out, typically 3 every Thursday, from the book. The grade will be based completely on your performance on the problems. Problems are always due two weeks after they're handed out. If you hand them in one week after they're handed out, I will grade them and return them the following week. You can then redo any problem that you seriously attempted and hand it in again, to improve your grade. On a redo, you can get a maximum of 1 point less than the original value of the problem. (That is, if the problem was originally out of 10, the most you can get is 9.) I will take the higher grade.

Academic Integrity: It's OK to discuss the problems with others, but you MUST write up solutions on your own, and understand what you are writing.

Course Outline: We will be following the text very closely. Very roughly, we will be covering one chapter per week. Topics include approaches to representing uncertainty, updating, representing uncertainty in multiagent systems, logics of reasoning about uncertainty, and default reasoning. The material should be relevant to philosophy and game theory as well as CS; I'll try to bring out the connections as we go along.

Webpage: The course URL is http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs6766/2013sp. Assignments will be posted there, as well as other class information.


Note: you can find your grades and solutions to the homework at CMS.

  • Week 1: handed out 1/24; due 2/7 (hand it in 1/31 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapters 1, 2.1-2.3
    • Do 2.5, 2.14, 2.16. In 2.5, change the second two occurrence of >= to >.
    Week 2: handed out 1/31; due 2/14 (hand it in 2/7 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 2
    • Do 2.28, 2.36, 2.57
    Week 3: handed out 2/7; due 2/21 (hand it in 2/14 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 3.1 - 3.3
    • Do 3.2, 3.7, 3.8
    Week 4: handed out 2/14; due 2/28 (hand it in 2/21 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 3
    • Do 3.16 (5 points), 3.23, 3.41 (5 points), 3.44
    Week 5: handed out 2/21; due 3/7 (hand it in 2/28 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 4
    • Do 3.47, 4.18, 4.24(a),(b),(c)
    Week 6: handed out 2/28; due 3/14 (hand it in 3/7 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 5
    • Do 4.8, 5.5, 5.8 (there's a typo in 5.8: the subscript on E should be calligraphic P, not \mu)
    Week 7: handed out 3/7; due 3/28 (hand it in 3/14 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 6
    • Do 5.10, 5.15, 6.4
    Week 8: handed out 3/14; due 4/4 (hand it in 3/28 for a second chance)
    • Do 6.6, 6.7, 6.14
    Week 9: handed out 3/28; due 4/11 (hand it in 4/4 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 7
    • Do 6.18, 7.10, 7.11
    Week 10: handed out 4/4; due 4/18 (hand it in 4/11 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 8.1-8.2
    • Do 7.22, 7.26, 8.5. For 7.26, you should find two structures M and M' that have the same set W of worlds and the same interpretation \pi. For each worldld w in and each formula phi in L_n^{QU}, we have (M,w)|= phi iff (M',w)|= phi, so M and M' agree on formulas in L_n^{QU} in this strong sense. However, M and M' disagree on the formula e_1(p+q) > 1/2. You can take M and M' so that there is only 1 player, |W|=3, all the worlds in M agree on the set of probability measures and there are only 2 of them, while in M' there are 3 of them.
    Week 11: handed out 4/11; due 4/25 (hand it in 4/11 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 8
    • Do 8.28, 8.34, 8.48
    Week 12: (final homework!) handed out 4/18; due 5/2 (hand it in 4/25 for a second chance)
    • Read Chapter 9
    • 8.38, 9.7, 9.15.