AI Group Project


Students will work in small groups to produce a working software system, involving the use of Artificial Intelligence problem-solving techniques and methodologies. The deliverables and working methods will be prescribed. The aims of the module are

  • To provide experience of group working
  • To provide experience of all aspects of the development of a moderately sized software system.
  • To prepare students for their individual projects in the third year
  • To consolidate material from the first semester of the second year.


12 lectures will be given: Introduction to the project framework; Meeting skills; Project planning; Project monitoring; Requirements specification for AI applications; Presentation skills; Design considerations for AI applications; Group dynamics and negotiation; Quality management; Configuration management; Documenting testing; Report writing.

Recommended Texts

S. Russell, and P. Norvig, Artificial Intelligence, A Modern Approach. Prentice Hall (latest edition)

C. W. Dawson, Computer Projects: A Student's Guide. Prentice Hall, 2000.

Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of working as part of a team.
  • Improved personal, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A more in depth understanding of the process of software development especially in the context of AI applications.
  • An ability to specify the requirements of an AI system.
  • Experience in the design of an AI system
  • Practical experience in the implementation and evaluation of a moderately sized software system.
  • An awareness of project management issues.
  • Understanding of the process and role of software documentation
  • Experience in the writing of a sizeable report on a software project.

Learning Strategy

The overall strategy is to allow self and peer guided learning within a tightly defined framework.

At the beginning of the module an introductory lecture will outline details of the project scheme, and documentation detailing the framework and expectations will be provided. Thereafter lectures will be given, usually at the rate of one per week reviewing the key skills needed to carry out the project. Studentson the relevant programmes will initially be put into teams of roughly equal size, typically with a minimum of four members, and thereafter will be expected to work largely autonomously. Teams will be expected to hold regular project meetings, the minutes of which will be monitored by staff. The projects will produce

  • the design and implementation of an appropriate knowledge base;
  • front end tools for maintaining the data;
  • tools for accessing, analysing and presenting the data.

The domain of the system will be selected by the team. Each project will have four milestones:

  • requirement specification review
  • design specification review
  • complete system demonstration
  • project portfolio assessment

      Each of these will be reviewed and assessed by staff.

Staff will be available on an as needed basis to offer support, guidance and to arbitrate any difficulties.