A framework for integrated Artificial Intelligence & Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
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OpenCog is a framework for developing AI systems, especially appropriate for integrative multi-algorithm systems, and artificial general intelligence systems. Though much work remains to be done, it currently contains a functional core framework, and a number of cognitive agents at varying levels of completion, some already displaying interesting and useful functionalities alone and in combination.

The main project site is at http://opencog.org

Please see doc/ for platform and OS specific READMEs.


To build and run OpenCog, the packages listed below are required. With a few exceptions, most Linux distributions will provide these packages. Users of Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr" may use the dependency installer at scripts/octool. Users of any version of Linux may use the Dockerfile to quickly build a container in which OpenCog will be built and run.


C++ utilities package http://www.boost.org/ | libboost-dev


Build management tool; v2.8 or higher recommended. http://www.cmake.org/ | cmake


Test framework http://cxxtest.sourceforge.net/ | https://launchpad.net/~opencog-dev/+archive/ppa Currently, opencog requires cxxtest version 3, and is not compatible with version 4.


Embedded scheme interpreter (version 2.0.0 or newer is required) http://www.gnu.org/software/guile/guile.html | guile-2.0-dev


The GNU Scientific Library http://www.gnu.org/software/gsl/ | libgsl0-dev

Optional Prerequisites

The following packages are optional. If they are not installed, some optional parts of OpenCog will not be built. The CMake command, during the build, will be more precise as to which parts will not be built.


cURL groks URLs Used by opencog/ubigraph http://curl.haxx.se/ | libcurl4-gnutls-dev


an XML parsing library Used by Embodiment subsystem http://expat.sourceforge.net/ | http://www.jclark.com/xml/expat.html (version 1.2) | libexpat1-dev


Distributed storage http://hypertable.org This requires SIGAR as well

Link Grammar

Natural Language Parser for English, Russian, other languages. Required for experimental Viterbi parser. http://www.abisource.com/projects/link-grammar/


Message Passing Interface Required for compute-cluster version of MOSES Use either MPICHV2 or OpenMPI


Open Graphics Library Used by opencog/spatial/MapTool http://www.opengl.org Commonly provided with your video card driver


Simple DirectMedia Layer Used by opencog/spatial/MapTool http://www.libsdl.org | libsdl1.2-dev


Simple DirectMedia Layer extension Used by opencog/spatial/MapTool http://www.ferzkopp.net/joomla/content/view/19/14/ | libsdl-gfx1.2-dev


Generic SQL Database client access libraries Required for the distributed-processing atomspace. http://www.unixodbc.org/ | unixodbc-dev


Apache Xerces-C++ XML Parser Required for embodiment http://xerces.apache.org/xerces-c/ | libxerces-c2-dev


XML-RPC support Required by opencog/ubigraph http://www.xmlrpc.com | libxmlrpc-c-dev

ZeroMQ (version 3.2.4 or higher)

Asynchronous messaging library http://zeromq.org/intro:get-the-software | libzmq3-dev

Threading Building Blocks

C++ template library for parallel programming https://www.threadingbuildingblocks.org/download | libtbb-dev

Building OpenCog

Peform the following steps at the shell prompt:

cd to project root dir
mkdir build
cd build
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..

Libraries will be built into subdirectories within build, mirroring the structure of the source directory root. The flag -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release results in binaries that are optimized for for performance; ommitting this flag will result in faster builds, but slower executables.

Unit tests

To build and run the unit tests, from the ./build directory enter (after building opencog as above):

make test

Running the server

The cogserver provides a simple server interface to the reasoning system.

See CommandRequestProcessor.cc as an example control interface to the server. This command processor understands 3 simple commands: load , ls and shutdown. There is an example XML file under tests/server/atomSpace.xml

To run a simple test, build everything, change directory to your opencog/build folder and execute opencog/server/cogserver. Then, from another terminal, run telnet localhost 17001 Try loading the example XML file and ls to see all the nodes and links.

Config file

The operation of the server can be altered by means of a config file. This config file is in lib/opencog.conf. To make use of it, say cogserver -c <config-filename> when starting the server.

Scheme shell

The cog server also includes a built-in scheme shell. The shell can be started by typing scm after entering the opencog server shell. It can be exited by placing a single . on a line by itself. This shell allows opencog atoms and truth values to be created, manipulated and destroyed using a very simple but powerful interface. Examples and documentation for the available OpenCog commands can be found in src/guile/README. See also the wiki for additional details.

Modifying the list of basic types

See the example under ./examples/atomtypes

CMake notes

Some useful CMake's web sites/pages:

The main CMakeLists.txt currently sets -DNDEBUG. This disables Boost matrix/vector debugging code and safety checks, with the benefit of making it much faster. Boost sparse matrixes and (dense) vectors are currently used by ECAN's ImportanceDiffusionAgent. If you use Boost ublas in other code, it may be a good idea to at least temporarily unset NDEBUG. Also if the Boost assert.h is used it will be necessary to unset NDEBUG. Boost ublas is intended to respond to a specific BOOST_UBLAS_NDEBUG, however this is not available as of the current Ubuntu standard version (1.34).

-Wno-deprecated is currently enabled by default to avoid a number of warnings regarding hash_map being deprecated (because the alternative is still experimental!)