CS370 Program 1 (Due September 13, 2000)

In this assignment, you will design and implement a rule-based agent for the vacuum-cleaner world. The full vacuum-cleaner world is described in Chapter 2 problem 2.5. The world has already been implemented in an extensive package of code described below. You will need to become familiar with this code during the course as we will use it and variants of it for subsequent assignments.

1. Assignment

The environment is implemented as an m by n rectangular room where each square has a 20% chance of containing dirt. Each time an instance of this environment is created, m and n are chosen uniformly from the range 8 to 15 inclusive. This means that the agent will not know the size of the room when it first starts up.

First, implement a purely reactive agent which makes its decision based only upon the percepts it receives from the environment. There are random and reactive vacuums in:


See if you can improve upon the average score these agents get. Then implement an agent with a single internal state that sucks up all of the dirt, returns to its home position, and shuts off. You will need to decide what state information the agent needs to maintain. You are only allowed to use a single int as storage in your agent class.

There is a simulation control program in the file VacuumRun.java. To run your own agents just change the agent used from its current setting (Reactive or RandomAgent) to the name of your agent. You can also change the world for debugging purposes.

The code is written to make debugging fairly painless. You can directly manipulate the speed the program runs, pause it, turn graphics on or off, turn debugging information on or off, etc. Feel free to rewrite this code to suit your needs, but remember I will run it on the original when it comes time to do grading.

When you are done make sure you place copies of your agents into the directory where your completed assignments should reside.

When you have your agent debugged, you should compare its performance to the reactive agent which is based upon code provided by Russell and Norvig. Do at least 20 runs and provide the average results.

Please note that it is possible to create fixed environments. These may be helpful for debugging purposes.

2. What to turn in

You should turn in your code, and a trace of your agent running on a small (e.g., 4 by 4) environment. Your code should clearly explain what it is doing. In particular, please explain the meaning of each of possible values of your state variable. You should try to get a good score on the performance criterion (which gives 100 points for each dirt object you vacuum up, -1 point for each action, and -1000 points if the agent is not in its home location when it shuts off). Please turn in a hardcopy at the start of class. In addition, provide a short discussion the generality of your solution where you address the following questions: 1) What happens if the vacuum starts in a random location? 2) What happens if we allow furniture into the environment?

3. Agent Code for Russell and Norvig

One purpose of the assignement is for you to begin to familiarize yourself with this code. The basic environment package included in the code will be used in subsequent assignments. If you have any questions about the code feel free to ask me about it.