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Best Prolog language books



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Most of Prolog textbooks are dull and examples are artificial and repetitive.  They usually give no ideas on how particular feature is implemented and provide no mental framework, as if the authors conspired to hide the real knowledge from you. One of the most interesting discussion of Prolog is in context of Lisp can be found in 

Artificial Intelligence Modern Approach Stuart J. Russell, Peter Norvig

Another book wriiten by a person who knows Lisp well is Prolog Programming for Artificial Intelligence by Ivan Bratko (Author)


Old News ;-)

Artificial Intelligence Modern Approach Stuart J. Russell, Peter Norvig

Homepage: Artificial Intelligence A Modern Approach

(Second Edition) by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig

Preface (html); chapter map
Part I Artificial Intelligence
1 Introduction
2 Intelligent Agents
Part II Problem Solving
3 Solving Problems by Searching
4 Informed Search and Exploration
5 Constraint Satisfaction Problems (pdf)
6 Adversarial Search
Part III Knowledge and Reasoning
7 Logical Agents (pdf)
8 First-Order Logic
9 Inference in First-Order Logic
10 Knowledge Representation
Part IV Planning
11 Planning (pdf)
12 Planning and Acting in the Real World
Part V Uncertain Knowledge and Reasoning
13 Uncertainty
14 Probabilistic Reasoning
15 Probabilistic Reasoning Over Time
16 Making Simple Decisions
17 Making Complex Decisions
Part VI Learning
18 Learning from Observations
19 Knowledge in Learning
20 Statistical Learning Methods (pdf)
21 Reinforcement Learning
Part VII Communicating, Perceiving, and Acting
22 Communication
23 Probabilistic Language Processing
24 Perception
25 Robotics
Part VIII Conclusions
26 Philosophical Foundations
27 AI: Present and Future
Bibliography (pdf and counts)
Index (html or pdf)

Programming in Prolog Using the ISO Standard Books

by W.F. Clocksin,C.S. Mellish

Concise presentation of Prolog, June 15, 2000

Reviewer: Armen Jamkotchian (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Prolog is a complex subject, especially for someone not well familiar with mathematical logic. Thus, it is very important how the foundation would be laid down. Typically the books I had read on Prolog tend to two extremes. They are either too condensed for such a complicated subject as logical programming, or too broad and mathematically intensive. I would put this book into the first category. Though very concise and well structured, this book does not seem to be a good primer.

I would rather recommend the book of Ivan Bratko "Prolog Programming for Artificial Intelligence (International Computer Science Series)" 2nd edition (the third edition of this book is due in August 2000).

Ivan Bratko had managed to find the optimal style of presenting both the essence and the practical aspects of the language. Bratko's book covers various practical applications of the language and manages to convey the basic concepts of Prolog without overwhelming the beginner with too abstract or too condensed passages.

Nevertheless, "Programming in Prolog" could be a very good programming reference once you are relatively comfortable with the language.

The Art of Prolog, Second Edition Advanced Programming Techniques (Logic Programming)

Prolog Programming for Artificial Intelligence

by Ivan Bratko (Author)

I thought the book could be better, December 27, 2001
Reviewer: A reader
I find the book does not adequetly explain the more complex code examples.

First of all the code is not adequetly commented.

Secondly, it does not explain the code well for programmers. First when introducing a program like in the expert systems shell chapter it should first define an interface for the program, and explain each goal listed. It should adequetly explain what each goal and clause should hope to achieve. Also, for the more complicated programs it should draw some type of diagram, maybe a flow chart or something that explains the concepts involved. It leaves too much figuring out and guessing for the reader. It is not very user-friendly!

On the positive side, it does an adequate job of explaining concepts when complex code is not involved. I found that I could follow along on even the more advanced chapters mostly everything at least until code was suddenly introduced. Then it became a guessing game as to what it was trying to do.

The author does not seem to realize that it is more difficult to try to understand somebody else's program than it is to write your own program from scratch. As a consequence the reader wastes a lot of time trying to guess what his program is doing.

Note: this review is of the 2nd edition and does not necessarily reflect the 3rd. But, then again, every other review on this page prior to mine is about the 2nd edition as well!

Companion Website PROLOG Programming for Artificial Intelligence

If desired, all the programs can be downloaded in one archive file:

In order to open the zip file you will need Winzip (available from

Intelligent Reasoning by Example

by Peter Flach, then at Tilburg University, the Netherlands
John Wiley 1994, xvi + 240 pages, ISBN 0471 94152 2
Reprinted: December 1994, July 1998. Currently available via print-on-demand.



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