Allen Newell

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Allen Newell [1]

Allen Newell, (March 19, 1927 - July 19, 1992)
was a American researcher in computer science and pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and chess software [2] at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1958, Allen Newell, Cliff Shaw, and Herbert Simon developed the chess program NSS [3]. It was written in a high-level language. Allen Newell and Herbert Simon were co-inventors of the alpha-beta algorithm, which was independently approximated or invented by John McCarthy, Arthur Samuel and Alexander Brudno [4]. Allen Newell and Herbert Simon received the Turing Award in 1975. Two of Allen Newell's students, Hans Berliner and James Gillogly became computer chess researchers and authors of famous chess computers.



In the late 1950s, Carnegie Mellon University researchers Allen Newell (r) and Herbert Simon (l),
together with Cliff Shaw (not shown) at the RAND Corporation, were early pioneers in the field of
artificial intelligence and chess software. The NSS program ran on the Johnniac computer ... [5]


Quote by John McCarthy from Human-Level AI is harder than it seemed in 1955:

Chess programs catch some of the human chess playing abilities but rely on the limited effective branching of the chess move tree. The ideas that work for chess are inadequate for go. Alpha-beta pruning characterizes human play, but it wasn't noticed by early chess programmers - Turing, Shannon, Pasta and Ulam, and Bernstein. We humans are not very good at identifying the heuristics we ourselves use. Approximations to alpha-beta used by Samuel, Newell and Simon, McCarthy. Proved equivalent to minimax by Hart and Levin, independently by Brudno. Knuth gives details.

See also

Selected Publications

[6] [7]

1955 ...

1960 ...

1970 ...

1980 ...

1990 ...

External Links


  1. Allen Newell Collection
  2. Allen Newell (1955). The Chess Machine: An Example of Dealing with a Complex Task by Adaptation. Proceedings Western Joint Computer Conference, pp. 101-108.
  3. Allen Newell, Cliff Shaw, Herbert Simon (1958). Chess Playing Programs and the Problem of Complexity. IBM Journal of Research and Development, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 320-335. Reprinted (1963) in Computers and Thought (eds. Edward A. Feigenbaum and Julian Feldman), pp. 39-70. McGraw-Hill, New York, N.Y., pdf
  4. John McCarthy Human-Level AI is harder than it seemed in 1955
  5. Aritificial Intelligence pioneers Allen Newell (right) and Herbert Simon 1958 Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University, The Computer History Museum
  6. ICGA Reference Database (pdf)
  7. dblp: Allen Newell
  8. General Problem Solver from Wikipedia
  9. Information Processing Language - Wikipedia
  10. Physical symbol system from Wikipedia

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