Online Psychological Soar Tutorial Ver. 12

Last revised 4 Jan 98

		[Quick HT]	    [Quick Analogy]

Soar is a problem-solving architecture used for cognitive modelling, though it is also often used in writing artificial intelligence (AI) programs.

This document aims to be a self-contained online introductory tutorial of Soar with an emphasis on cognitive modelling. We will pay some heed to the AI and programming aspects of Soar, as we must -- as a cognitive modelling theory Soar proposes that intelligence consists of a set of mechanisms that do not change across tasks, that is, the architecture, and that knowledge of how to perform tasks is also necessary -- hence intelligence has aspects of being programmable. What this means and how we go about doing it with Soar is what this tutorial is all about.

The major difference between this tutorial and other Soar materials and other Web documents, is that it is designed to be used with a running Soar. We have included several simple (and some not so simple) exercises to test and further your understanding while reading the tutorial.

This tutorial when presented 'live', takes about 3.5 hours for the hungry-thirsty material and about 2 hours for the analogy material. You might plan on spending about that time, including some reading, unless you run into problems with getting Soar installed or a silly syntax bug such as forgetting to close a parenthesis.

This version is designed to be used with the Tcl/Tk Soar Interface, version 2.2 or better.

If you have any questions, please email one of us -- FER or RMY (see addresses below).

Using the tutorial
Details on how to use the Soar tutorial. If you have never seen a hypertext document before then you should click the mouse here before looking at how to use the tutorial.


Soar tutorial based on the hungry-thirsty model
An introductory Soar tutorial, including exercises to do on a simple Soar model.


Analogy tutorial
A set of more advanced exercises on part of a real world Soar model.

Updates to this tutorial should follow the Soar Tutorial HTML Standards, which can be found as comments at the top of the raw pst-tutorial.html file. Later versions may be availble, check our home pages.

Richard M. Young
Psychology Department
University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB, UK
Frank E. Ritter
Psychology Department
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD
Gary Jones
Psychology Department
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD

If you are viewing this tutorial from diskette rather than from a web site, then it is possible that a more up-to-date version exists. This file is You can also request the latest copy by writing to one of us stating your current version.

Currently, this tutorial is best viewed in Netscape, but Mosaic is ok too.

This work was partially funded by an Enterprise in Education grant through the University of Nottingham. Jeni Tennison helped us through some tough times working with HTML; Fernand Gobet and numerous students have provided comments.

Other Soar resources: The Soar FAQ at its home (up-to-date) or locally with the tutorial (fast)