Use these two novel Prolog problems with solutions that are not commonly available online to spruce up your prolog assignments in an engaging way.

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  • Royal Family Tree: Change the common Prolog assignment regarding family trees to one that requires students to trace the line of succession in a royal family.
    • It is easy to use the British royal family for such an assignment because both the royal family tree and the British rules of succession are available online.
    • This assignment illustrates how Prolog can use a database of elementary facts and simple rules to deduce additional facts about family relationships.
  • Wacky Chess: Instead of the common Prolog assignment of implementing tic-tac-toe, have students create Wacky Chess, a simple three-player game that combines the moves of some chess pieces with the dominating relationships between the pieces from the game “rock-paper-scissors.”
    • Rock moves like a rook in chess and can capture scissors; scissors move like a bishop and capture paper; and paper jumps like a knight and captures rock.
    • Implementing a game such as Wacky Chess introduces students to the concept of keeping track of the state of the game using dynamic predicates.
    • Additionally, this game illustrates how a directed graph can be represented using Prolog facts.
  • The novelty of these assignments increases students’ interests and prevents them from finding solutions online due to the originality of the assignment.