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NUS Module Review: CS4246 AI Planning and Decision Making

The module was undergoing some changes when I took it. Previously it had a midterm and 2 finals (during the last lecture slot), but when I took it it had no midterm, 1 final and instead 3 assignments and 1 project (duo), including a coding assignment to be submitted online. This is the first time the Prof was testing this, so this may not remain in future years.

The module’s topics are very similar to Zhu Liang’s review, except that instead of Gaussian Process now it includes PDDL, strips, SATPlan, which are fairly simple to grasp after taking CS3243. It also includes the REINFORCE algorithm.

Overall I found the module pretty fun and did not really find it too difficult. Not too much math was involved during the finals, as long as you understood the concepts taught you would do well. The assignments were interesting and the project is the kind that I like, where the task is fairly open ended and you are free to use whatever you can come up with to solve the problem, as long as you do well. The submissions include some gamification element – your results are graded on the test cases immediately after submission, and as long as you pass them all you will get full marks. However, you only get 2 submissions per day – the sooner you start, the more submissions you get and thus you get more chances to look at the test set results and refine your algorithm.

The project can be done solo or as a pair, and since there is no penalty for pair work it is generally preferable to do it as a pair. The assignments are intended to be done solo.

If you do decide to take this mod, I would recommend ensuring that you can make it for the last lecture as that is likely when the finals will be held.

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