This course (formerly called
'Cognitive Robotics') is about the theory and realisation of so-called intelligent agents, pieces
of software that display some degree of autonomy, realised by incorporating `high-level cognitive /
mental attitudes' into both modelling
and implementation of this kind of software. As such, the subject of
intelligent agents is at the cross-roads of the fields of artificial
intelligence and mainstream computer science, in particular software
engineering. These mental attitudes comprise 'informational' and 'motivational'
ones and are often of the so-called BDI kind, dealing with 'beliefs', 'desires'
and 'intentions' of agents. The agent concept calls for an integration of several topics in artificial intelligence, such as knowledge representation and
reasoning (in particular reasoning about action and change) and planning. Agent
technology, as the field is generally called, has a great potential of
applications, ranging from intelligent personal assistants to e-commerce and
robotics (where in the latter case often the term 'cognitive robotics' is
In the course we will devote much time to the philosophical and theoretical
(mostly logical) foundations of the area of intelligent agents, and then go on
with describing ways of realising
them by special architectures and so-called agent-oriented programming
languages in which one can program the 'mental states' of agents. This course
presents the introductory theory for the agent-directed courses in the Master programme and is required for
courses such as MAS and MAP.