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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Stuart J. Russell, Peter Norvig
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The optimal learning algorithm for learning A.I.

Progress in the field of artificial intelligence has executed a random walk after establishing itself with a bang in the 1950s. Optimistic predictions of the future of A.I. in that decade only partially came true in the decades after that. Currently, the field is divided up into subfields going by the names data mining, computational intelligence, intelligent agent theory, expert systems, etc. This book is the best book available for learning about this fascinating and important subject. The applications of A.I. are enormous, and will increase dramatically in the decades ahead. Indeed the prospects are very exciting, and the authors themselves have been involved heavily in extending the frontiers of the subject. Some of the main points of the book that really stand out include:1. The useful exercises at the end of each chapter. 2. The discussion of simple reflex and goal-based agents. 3. The treatment of constraint satisfaction problems and heuristics for these kinds of problems. 4. The overview of iterative improvement algorithms, particularly the discussion of simulated annealing. 5. The discussion of propositional logic and its limitations as an effective A.I. paradigm. 6. The treatment of first-order logic and its use in modeling simple reflex agents, change, and its use in situation calculus. There is a good overview of inference in first-order logic in chapter 9 of the book, including completeness and resolution. 7. The treatment of logic programming systems; the Prolog language is discussed as a logical programming language. Noting that Prolog cannot specify constraints on values, the authors discuss constraint logic programming (CLP) as an alternative logic programming language that allows constraints. 8. The discussion of semantic networks and description logics. 9. The treatment of conditional programming via the conditional partial-order planner (CPOP). 10. Representing knowledge in an uncertain domain and the semantics and inference in belief networks. 11. The brief discussions on stochastic simulation methods and fuzzy logic. 12. The discussion on computational learning theory 13. The treatment of neural networks, especially the discussion of multilayer feed-forward networks and the comparison between belief networks and neural networks. 14. The brief discussion on genetic algorithms and evolutionary programming. 15. The discussion on explanation-based learning and the technique of memoization. 16. The (excellent) overview of inductive logic programming. This relatively recent area was new to me at the time of reading so I appreciated the discussion. The authors briefly mention the approach of discovery systems and the Automated Mathematician (AM). 17. The interesting discussion of telepathic communication between robots via the exchange of internal representations. 18. The discussion on a formal grammar for a subset of English and the extensive treatment of natural language processing. 19. The discussion of speech recognition and the use of hidden Markov models and the Viterbi algorithm. 20. The fascinating discussion on robotics, particularly the treatment of configuration spaces, which brings in some techniques from computational geometry and topology. 21. The discussion on the philosophical ramifications of A.I. Future developments in A.I. will provide a unique testing ground for philosophy, in a way that will be unparalleled in the history of philosophy. Philosophers critical of A.I. will have the opportunity to check whether their arguments against the possibility of "strong A.I.", are in fact true.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCSE: SQL Server 2000 Design Study Guide (Exam 70-229)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Marc Isreal, Steven Jones, Marc Israel, J. Steven Jones, Steve Jones
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Among many other certification books, this is the best

I have used MOC (The first mistake), and MSPRESS (Another mistake), then QUE (I think this book needs serious revamp) only to find out all of them do not cover what you need to know for the exam, until I came across this book. It explains concepts for 70-229 very well. It has a lot of exercises that reinforce the concepts. I gave three stars because there are still many typos and review questions with wrong answers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Teach Yourself Sap R/3 in 24 Hours
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Danielle Larocca
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
One of the Worst

First of all nobody can learn SAP in 24 hours and this book will not do it. This book definitely give you very general and very basic overview of SAP functionality. In my opinion this book is for people like system annalists, technical annalists, IT specialists etc. with no SAP knowledge who would like to start working with SAP. It is however not for ordinary SAP user - subjects (hours) are mostly technical and language is also technical.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DOS for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Dan Gookin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is a great refrence book

I make my living providing technical support for PC users, and this book has made my life a much more plesant experince. I have given many copies of this book to freinds who are looking for a good starting point to working with their computers.