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Maarten H. van Emden,
a Dutch mathematician, electrical engineer, and computer scientist with a Ph.D. in Information theory and Data analysis from University of Amsterdam. He held research positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Laboratory and the University of Edinburgh, before he went to Canada to teach and research in programming at University of Waterloo and University of Victoria. Maarten van Emden is proponent of the declarative logical programming language Prolog, and worked with Donald Michie on various AI-issues. He wrote an Advice-taking Prolog program for certain chess endgames [1]. Along with Robert Kowalski, Van Emden developed the fixpoint semantics [2] of Horn clauses [3] .
Maarten van Emden


Maarten van Emden

From I remember Donald Michie [4]:
To accommodate a driven student with his own project requires a supervisor who is not one of those lowly beavers. In the case of Schaeffer it was Morven Gentleman. When Gentleman left, the nearly finished Schaeffer was transferred to Randy Goebel and myself. As a result, he is, pro forma, my most famous student. ...

Donald Michie demonstrated the Human Window phenomenon with chess end games. He proposed a form of describing end-game knowledge that he called “advice” and described a formal language, Advice Language One [5] , for expressing such advice. The language could be translated into a form that guided a computer to play the end-game at the level of skill of a chess expert. Soei Tan, Ivan Bratko and Danny Kopec were chess experts who used this framework to implement specific end games.

Once again, I did not get it. I could not help acting in my then usual role of Prolog evangelist and wanted to demonstrate that the beauty of Prolog was that it rendered superfluous things like Advice Language One. Accordingly I wrote a Prolog program that played an end game using Advice in DM’s sense [6]. DM generously allowed me my say in a paper in the Tenth Machine Intelligence workshop. It’s a nice paper, but it does not get it.

Alejandro López-Ortiz

From An Introduction to Computer Chess [7] :
From the team of undergrads who authored Ribbit, Ron Hansen went on to write his master thesis on computer chess, and eventually Prof. Van Emden became an expert in computer chess and endgames.

Selected Publications

[8] [9]

External Links


  1. ^ Maarten H. van Emden (1982). Chess End-game Advice: a Case Study in Computer Utilisation of Knowledge. Machine Intelligence 10, pp. 477-498
  2. ^ Fixpoint semantics from A three-valued semantics for logic programmers by Lee Naish, June 2005
  3. ^ Robert Kowalski from Wikipedia
  4. ^ I remember Donald Michie (1923 – 2007) « A Programmers Place
  5. ^ Donald Michie (1976). AL1: a package for generating strategies from tables. ACM SIGART Bulletin, Issue 59
  6. ^ Donald Michie (1976). An Advice-Taking System for Computer Chess. Computer Bulletin, Ser. 2, Vol. 10, pp. 12-14. ISSN 0010-4531
  7. ^ An Introduction to Computer Chess by Alejandro López-Ortiz, 1993
  8. ^ Downloads MHvE
  9. ^ ICGA Reference Database (pdf)
  10. ^ See Quotes by Maarten van Emden

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