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16.410 / 16.413 Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making, Fall 2003

Artist's rendering of Mars Exploration Rover.
Artist's rendering of Mars Exploration Rover. (Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.)

Highlights of this Course

Students in 16.410 and 16.413 learn from a variety of activities and teaching technologies.  This course site features assignments that were completed by students online and scored by a computer program that evaluates their work.

Course Description

This course surveys a variety of reasoning, optimization, and decision-making methodologies for creating highly autonomous systems and decision support aids. The focus is on principles, algorithms, and their applications, taken from the disciplines of artificial intelligence and operations research. Reasoning paradigms include logic and deduction, heuristic and constraint-based search, model-based reasoning, planning and execution, reasoning under uncertainty, and machine learning. Optimization paradigms include linear, integer and dynamic programming. Decision-making paradigms include decision theoretic planning, and Markov decision processes. This course is offered both to undergraduate (16.410) students as a professional area undergraduate subject, in the field of aerospace information technology, and graduate (16.413) students.


Prof. Brian Williams
Dr. Greg Sullivan

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session


Undergraduate / Graduate


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