Homework 2 (Summer 2023)

Answer the following prompt in a maximum of 5 pages (excluding references) in JDF format. Any content beyond 5 pages will not be considered for a grade. 5 pages is a maximum, not a target. This length is intentionally set expecting that your submission may include diagrams, drawings, pictures, etc. These should be incorporated into the body of the paper.

If you would like to include additional information beyond the word limit, you may include it in clearly-marked appendices. These materials will not be used in grading your assignment, but they may help you get better feedback from your classmates and grader.

Homework 2 Prompt

For several semesters, this prompt considered one of the great internet debates of all time: what is a sandwich? Unfortunately, that debate is so well-developed that emerging AI agents can actually give extremely compelling answers to these questions.

So, instead, this assignment will look at a slightly different debate: what is soup? First, take the following list of dishes and decide whether each one is a soup. In your assignment, start with a list of which of these you would consider to be soup, and which of these you would not consider to be soup. If you are unfamiliar with any of these types of soup (or not-soup), you should be able to Google them and find out what they are.

  • Baked beans
  • Borscht
  • Cereal with milk
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Chili
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Clam chowder
  • Coconut milk
  • Consommé
  • Corn chowder
  • Crème brûlée
  • French onion soup in a bread bowl
  • Fruit salad in syrup
  • Gazpacho
  • Guacamole
  • Gumbo
  • Hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • Hot tea with tea leaves
  • Ice cream sundae
  • Iced tea
  • Jambalaya
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Masaman curry
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Melted ice cream
  • Menudo
  • Milkshake
  • Miso soup
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta bolognese
  • Pho
  • Rice pudding
  • Risotto
  • Spaghetti with marinara sauce
  • Stew
  • Tomato bisque
  • Vichyssoise
  • Yogurt with granola

After labeling each of these 40 dishes as either soup or not soup, select five variables you might want to use to categorize these dishes. Those might have to do with the ingredients of the dishes, the method of preparation, the typical way in which they are eaten, a characteristic of how they are served, etc. Each variable should likely have a finite (and probably small) set of possible values. Then, assign values for these variables to each dish. You are encouraged to format these first two portions of the assignment as a table, with a column for Dish to list the candidate dishes, a column for “Soup?” to list whether you consider each dish a soup, and five more columns with values for each of the five variables you chose. We anticipate this should take one page; you may format your table as needed to fit within one page.

Once you’ve labeled and categorized each dish according to your five selected variables, illustrate the process of incremental concept learning using a series of potential soups. Construct a model of what a soup is, noting which heuristics are used to specialize and generalize the model with each additional positive or negative example. Step through the process with at least six potential soups, at least three positive and three negative examples. Then, briefly note whether any of the soups you did not include would make a significant difference to the model if you had chosen to go that far.

Next, attempt a classification approach to defining a soup. Select some (or all) of the variables you identified (similar to “Lays eggs?” and “Has wings?” from the bird example in the Classification lecture) that would be useful in differentiating soups. Construct an abstracted classification tree using these variables, and classify at least ten dishes according to that classification tree. This tree can be based on your own intuition.

Finally, answer the age old question, “Are grits a soup?”, using each of three perspectives: the model you developed through incremental concept learning; the classifier you developed based on those parameters and their values; and a case-based reasoning approach. With regard to case-based reasoning, you need only comment on what soup you think would be drawn as most “similar” to grits.

Submission Instructions

Complete your assignment using JDF, then save your submission as a PDF. Assignments should be submitted to the corresponding assignment submission page in Canvas. You should submit a single PDF for this  assignment. This PDF will be ported over to Peer Feedback for peer review by your classmates. If your assignment involves things (like videos, working prototypes, etc.) that cannot be provided in PDF, you should provide them separately (through OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) and submit a PDF that links to or otherwise describes how to access that material.

This is an individual assignment. All work you submit should be your own. Make sure to cite any sources you reference, and use quotes and in-line citations to mark any direct quotes.

Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of such an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.

Grading Information

Your assignment will be graded on a 10-point scale coinciding with a rubric designed to mirror the question structure. Make sure to answer every question posted by the prompt. Pay special attention to bolded words and question marks in the question text. For further information on how the assignment is graded, see the rubric in Canvas.

Peer Review

After submission, your assignment will be ported to Peer Feedback for review by your classmates. Grading is not the primary function of this peer review process; the primary function is simply to give you the opportunity to read and comment on your classmates’ ideas, and receive additional feedback on your own. All grades will come from the graders alone. See the course participation policy for full details about how points are awarded for completing peer reviews.