New Programming Languages for A1 Research
by Bobrow, Daniel G., and Raphael, Bertram
Technical Note 82
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Note: Paper presented at Third International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Stanford University, Stanford, California, August 20-23, 1974.
Most programming languages are universal in the sense that any algorithm that can be expressed by a program in one language can also be expressed in any of the other languages. However, the set of unique facilities provided by a language makes some types of programs easier to write in that language than in any other. Indeed, the main reason for introducing new features into a programming language is to automate procedures that the user needs and would otherwise have to code explicitly; such features reduce the housekeeping details that distract the user from the algorithms in which he is really interested. Therefore, underlying the design of any programming language is a set of assumptions about the types of programs that users of that language will be writing. Historically the needs of the artificial intelligence (AI) research community have simulated new developments in programming systems. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of the nature of these new programming features and the present state of their availability in the new languages.