George Mason University
of Information Technology and Engineering
Department of Computer Science

IT 803 Instructable Agents

Spring 2002


Preliminary Schedule


January 28

·        Overview of the course’s objective and requirements:

o       Hands-on experience with designing and developing an end-to-end instructable agent

o       Writing of a research paper focusing on one aspect of the agent development process

·        Overview of the agent development process and of the Disciple shell

·        Introduction of the agent to be developed in this course: An assistant for choosing a PhD thesis advisor.

Assignment 1: Literature search on how to choose a PhD thesis advisor (due February 4th)


February 4

·        Student presentations of the results of the literature search (the studied papers and associated presentations will be part of the final report of the course)

·        Specification of the intelligent assistant to be developed

·        Outline of the main stages and deadlines of the agent development process

Assignment 2: Preliminary modeling of the process of choosing a PhD thesis advisor, based on the task reduction paradigm (due February 11th)


February 11

·        Specification of an example of a PhD thesis advisor

·        Development of the top level modeling for choosing a PhD Thesis advisor

·        Partitioning of the domain and assignment of the partitions to individual students (each student will develop an agent corresponding to the assigned partition; all these agents will share a common ontology and will finally be integrated into a more powerful agent)

·        Discussion of individual research papers

Assignment 3: First draft of the individual research paper (due February 18th)


February 18

·        Student presentations of the first drafts of their individual research papers

Assignment 4: Development of the modeling for the student assigned partition based on the specified example of a PhD thesis advisor (due February 25th)


February 25

·        Discussion and integration of the problem solving models developed by students

·        Specification of an additional example of a PhD thesis advisor

Assignment 5: Refined example, refined modeling to include the additional example, and ontology specification for the entire modeling (due March 4th)


March 4

·        Discussion of the additional example, refined modeling and ontology specification

Assignment 6: Ontology development by individual students (due March 18th)


March 18

·        Discussion of the developed ontologies and their integration into a common ontology

Assignment 7: Revision of individual ontology fragments, integration of the ontology fragments and scripts development, including report generation (due March 25th)


March 25

·        Discussion of the integrated ontology and of the developed scripts

Assignment 8: Mid-term version of the individual research paper (due April 1st)


April 1

·        Student presentations of the mid-term versions of the individual research papers.

Assignment 9: Elicitation and modeling for the first example of PhD thesis advisor (due April 8th)


April 8

·        Discussion of the elicited example and modeling

Assignment 10: Task formalization, rule learning and problem solving for the first example of PhD thesis advisor (due April 12th)


April 15 to be rescheduled for Friday April 12, if possible

·        Discussion and demo of learning and problem solving.

Assignment 11: Elicitation and training for the second example of a PhD thesis advisor (due April 19th).


April 22 to be rescheduled for Friday April 19, if possible

·        Presentation of the developed agents and discussion of their future developments


April 29

·        Development of the final agent, integrating the capabilities of the developed agents.


May 6

·        Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the agent development process

·        Lessons learned

·        Future developments.

Assignment 12: Final version of individual research paper (due May 13th)


May 13

·        Research papers presentations