General Problem Solver
General Problem Solver (GPS) was a computer program created in 1959 by Herbert A. Simon, J.C. Shaw, and Allen Newell intended to work as a universal problem solver machine. Any formalized symbolic problem can be solved, in principle, by GPS. For instance: theorems proof, geometric problems and chess playing. It was based on Simon and Newell's theoretical work on logic machines. GPS was the first computer program which separated its knowledge of problems (rules represented as input data) from its strategy of how to solve problems (a generic solver engine). It was implemented in the low-level IPL programming language.
While GPS solved simple problems such as the Towers of Hanoi that could be sufficiently formalized, it could not solve any real-world problems because search was easily lost in the combinatorial explosion of intermediate states.
The user defined objects and operations that could be done on the objects, and GPS generated heuristics by Means-ends analysis in order to solve problems. It focused on the available operations, finding what inputs were acceptable and what outputs were generated. It then created subgoals to get closer and closer to the goal.
- Newell, A.; Shaw, J.C.; Simon, H.A. (1959). Report on a general problem-solving program. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Processing. pp. 256–264.
- Newell, A. (1963). A guide to the general problem-solver program GPS-2-2. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California. Technical Report No. RM-3337-PR.
- Ernst, G.W. and Newell, A. (1969). GPS: a case study in generality and problem solving. Academic Press. (revised version of Ernst's 1966 dissertation, Carnegie Institute of Technology.)
- Newell, A., and Simon, H. A. (1972) Human problem solving Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
- Norvig, Peter (1992). Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp. San Francisco, California: Morgan Kaufmann. pp. 109–149. ISBN 1-55860-191-0.
- Noyes, James L. (1992). Artificial Intelligence with Common Lisp. Lexington: D. C. Heath. pp. 343–371. ISBN 0-669-19473-5.