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Artificial Intelligence: A Guide to Intelligent Systems Paperback – 19 May 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 3 edition (19 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408225743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408225745
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


“This book covers many areas related to my module. I would be happy to recommend this book to my students. I believe my students would be able to follow this book without any difficulty. Book chapters are very well organised and this will help me to pick and choose the subjects related to this module.” Dr Ahmad Lotfi, Nottingham Trent University, UK

From the Back Cover

Artificial Intelligence is often perceived as being a highly complicated, even frightening, subject in Computer Science. This view is compounded by books in this area being crowded with complex matrix algebra and differential equations – until now. This book, evolving from lectures given to students with little knowledge of calculus, assumes no prior programming experience and demonstrates that most of the underlying ideas in intelligent systems are, in reality, simple and straightforward.  The main attraction of the author's approach is in his deliberate de-emphasising of the maths – just enough to give a valid treatment of the subject. This is what makes the underlying ideas in AI so much easier to understand. No wonder that this book has already been adopted by more than 250 universities around the world and translated into many languages.

Are you looking for a genuinely lucid, introductory text for a course in AI or Intelligent Systems Design? Perhaps you’re a non-computer science professional looking for a self-study guide to the state-of-the art in knowledge-based systems? Either way, you can’t afford to ignore this book.


  • Rule-based expert systems
  • Fuzzy expert systems
  • Frame-based expert systems
  • Artificial neural networks
  • Evolutionary computation
  • Hybrid intelligent systems
  • Knowledge engineering
  • Data mining

New to this edition:

  • New chapter on data mining and knowledge discovery
  • New section on clustering with a self-organising neural network
  • Four new case studies
  • Completely updated to incorporate the latest developments in this fast-paced field.

Dr Michael Negnevitsky is a Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tasmania, Australia. The book has developed from his lectures to undergraduates. Educated as an electrical engineer, Dr Negnevitsky’s many interests include artificial intelligence and soft computing. His research involves the development and application of intelligent systems in electrical engineering, process control and environmental engineering. He has authored and co-authored over 300 research publications including numerous journal articles, four patents for inventions and two books.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "dimitrismak" on 10 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
A definetely buy for anyone who is merely interested in artificial intelligence.It is written in an easy to read way so the reader can totally understand its contect and its meaning.It explains from the basics of artificial intelligence up to more complex things such as hybrid intelligent systems and the techniques to build them in the most simple way.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Dec. 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a good AI book, which is the recommended text of the AI module on my degree. This means it goes into enough depth, while still being easy to understand. This book shines out among all of the others I've seen, due to it's readibility, especially for beginners. If my scarily intelligent/knowledgeable/fussy lecturer likes it must be good!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Treatment of Complex Topics 14 Dec. 2003
By Mario Missakian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What Dr. Negnevitsky states in the preface of this book, "Most of the literature on AI is expressed in the jargon of computer science, and crowded with complex matrix algebra and differential equations" is an accurate assessment of current textbooks that try to go beyond just the basics of AI.
Actually, this book does contain some of the same complex material that Dr. Negnevitsky accuses others for having with one exception: He does a terrific job in simplifying the complex theories behind them.
At first, when I flipped through the pages, huge equations and matrices jumped at me. My first impression was that this book was for serious computer scientists or mathematicians. I was looking for simpler material for my beginning AI students. I started reading the preface and found the argument interesting.
I speed-read through the first chapter and found the history of the field presented in a concise and a very well laid out fashion. I jumped into reading the beginning of chapter 2 and I was amazed at how well Dr. Negnevitsky progressed from basic ideas to more and more complex layers. With other similar books, the reader will need many basic theory books (mathematics, basic AI...) in order to understand the topics. Dr. Negnevitsky provides all the basics necessary. This same strategy is repeated for the remaining chapters.
I acquired the book and read it from beginning to end. I found the material consistently well presented. One warning: this book does get very technical and complex in many chapters. However, the material in each of those chapters is progressively laid out. Even if a reader stops in the middle of some chapters, there is still a lot to gain from the experience of reading the entire book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in really understanding beyond just keywords and delve into the internals of AI topics.
Thanks to Dr. Negnevitsky for a great book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Great Introductory Book on Soft Computing 9 Nov. 2002
By Omolade Saliu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For a beginner that wants to know where the stories about Soft Computing really converge, this book is a starting point. The style of the author is simple and great.
My interest was to get a book that keeps the daunting mathematical jargons in Fuzzy Logic (contained in several other books) minimal, while presenting the concepts. I fell in love with this book, that I had to run through all the pages as if it's a novel.
This book really demonstrates that the whole idea behind intelligent systems are simple and straightforward. You do not need another teacher. He presented algorithms (e.g. back-propagation)in a very simple to understand manner.
Dr. Michael Negnevitsky, the author, must be a great teacher. It's a handy and nice book. I strongly recommend it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A very good introductory text book for intelligent systems 7 Jun. 2005
By Paras Jethwani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The author explains various AI concepts in very simple terms and has managed to present the math behind some of the ideas in an understandable manner.

The treatment of various topics is intermediate though but it is a good place to start and does not leave the reader riddled with complex math equations.

In-fact the author has done a great job at keeping the concepts separate from the mathematics, except for some places like neural networks where it is not possible to explain the concepts without talking about the math involved.

Instead of focusing too much on a particular aspect of intelligent systems this book deals with a whole spectrum of technologies such as fuzzy systems, neural networks, hybrid systems etc.

The writing style of the author is very simple and clear and it is possible to finish the entire book over a period of one semester or a little more.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Undergraduate Textbook 23 Jan. 2009
By Ayzed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I got this book as part of a short course in AI by Negnevitsky that I attended a while back. The course was, in my opinion, too short for the material covered. The book, however, appeared to be more promising. I'll start with the good points. First, it is well-written and covers the "essentials" of AI such as expert systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks, genetic algorithms, hybrid intelligent systems and data mining. Second, each chapter is well-organized with sufficient examples, a summary of key points and questions for review at the end. Third, at just over 400 pages and being only around 9.5 x 6.25 inches, it is also quite easy to carry around and read at your convenience. Fourth, the pages are bright white with crisp black text which also makes for easy reading even where lighting is not perfect.

However, I do have a few issues with the book. First, it does not really cover things like Monte-Carlo search, the minimax algorithm (used in chess) or swarm intelligence, to name a few. I found that as I looked for clarifications about certain things, I came across these other topics which weren't in the book; which brings me to the second issue. The beginning of each chapter is seductive with its easy-going introduction and general overview, especially to the uninitiated, I would imagine. However, the average reader (I have advanced degrees in computer science, by the way) will likely find himself trying to catch his breath after that. There is a little too much content squeezed into too few pages. Even more, Negnevitsky uses a considerable amount of mathematics, charts and diagrams which are not always easy understand. It is assumed, of course, that the reader has a "basic" understanding of math. If "advanced" math is used in say, rocket science, "basic" is just a relative term. If you simply skip over these things or assume they are true without trying hard to really understand them, you will not likely learn as much.

I did not intend to read this book to relive my undergraduate course in AI but it put me through it nonetheless. I was actually hoping for a less technical but sufficiently lucid explication of the different approaches currently used in AI; a "refresher" course, so to speak. Something that would explain the general principles without focusing too much on actual pen and paper calculations (which are unnecessary, even if one works in AI, unless one actually plans to employ a particular approach; in which case they can pursue it further elsewhere). In that respect, I was somewhat disappointed. This book appears to be intended mainly for undergraduates with the "be ready for the exam" mentality.

The problem is, by the end of the book, you begin to wonder just how much you've really learned. I would say it unlikely reaches even 50% of all that has been jam-packed into this book. To test this hypothesis, just see how many of the "questions for review", in total, that you can answer correctly after reading the whole book. Not to mention actually being able to do the kind of calculations the book seems to emphasize. To summarize the second issue, the book kind of pulls the reader away from gaining an important conceptual perspective of AI techniques and how they relate to each other. This is still possible despite the undergraduate and generally technical nature of the book but you will have to be careful to see the forest for the trees. Having both a strong, technical grasp of the techniques *and* a conceptual overview of how they relate to each other as a field is what, I think, the book tries to do but falls short at the expense of one.

The third issue pertains to the *ten* case studies at the end of the book. I'm not really sure that many are necessary, though (something to keep in mind for a possible 3rd edition of the book). While some of them are a refreshingly straightforward read, by the end of the book, you will likely find yourself having to go back to the chapters in which the techniques employed were initially explained to really make sense of them (even more so if you had skipped over the technical parts, which I didn't). In certain cases, Negnevitsky seems to have forgotten that while this book was "developed from lectures to undergraduates" (see the back cover), his readers are not necessarily attending those lectures afterward to ask for clarifications. For instance, in Case Study 9, he mentions the Gini coefficient and says they were used in Figure 9.46a but it is not explained *how* exactly they were used. If you look up the Gini coefficient in Wikipedia, it doesn't help much in this context, either. I, for one, was not previously familiar with it. The fourth issue is that I think there is also at least one significant error in the book in Figure 9.22. It says on page 327 that we can improve digit recognition by feeding the network with 'noisy' examples and that this is shown in Figure 9.22 (on the next page). However, the figure seems to show that the network trained with noisy examples has a higher percentage of recognition error. How is this an improvement?

Another thing I noticed is that there isn't really an equal treatment of even the topics covered. Fuzzy logic and neural networks seem to come up more often. This can be condoned to an extent but I really did not see the purpose of bringing up Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference Systems (ANFIS) as part of an "introductory text for a course in AI" and later referencing it in Case Study 8, which implies that it should be properly understood. Perhaps it deserved better treatment in the context of this book. Genetic algorithms, on the other hand, was nicely explained and later made Case Study 7 relatively easy to understand. Finally, I have to say that the cover art does the book only further injustice.

In summary, I would still recommend purchasing this book because some parts are beautifully explained and this is good for quick reference, especially when memory fails. However, there is still room out there for a less-technical, conceptually-inclined *introduction* to how things work in AI. Such a book may not be on the required reading list of undergraduate courses in AI or advanced courses in philosophy but it would probably be much more accessible to the public and even computer scientists in general.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
explains key ideas with minimal maths complications 26 Jan. 2006
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The field of Artificial Intelligence has been around for decades. During which there have been numerous advances and disappointments. Often, the advances have been described in other texts using highly mathematical treatments. All to the good. Except that this does tend to act as a barrier to newcomers to AI, who might not have a very strong maths background. And even for those who do, the sheer amount of maths to understand in those books can be time consuming.

Which is the attraction of Negnevitsky's approach. He deliberately de-emphasises the maths. Enough is retained to give a valid treatment. But it is now far easier to understand the underlying ideas. Such as artificial neural networks. Here, I was also impressed to see him give proper prominence to John Hopfield's seminal contributions to neural network theory.

More generally, the book covers well the entire breadth of AI. From fuzzy systems to genetic algorithms to rule-based systems.
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