According to the SOAR FAQ,
Soar means different things to different people. Soar is used by AI researchers to construct integrated intelligent agents and by cognitive scientists for cognitive modeling. It can basically be considered in several different ways:
- A theory of cognition: It is the principles behind the implemented Soar system.
- A set of principles and constraints on (cognitive) processing: Thus, it provides a (cognitive) architectural framework, within which you can construct cognitive models. In this view, it can be considered as an integrated architecture for knowledge-based problem solving, learning, and interaction with external environments.
- An implementation of these principles and constraints as programming language
- An AI programming language
Historically, Soar stood for State, Operator And Result, because all problem solving in Soar is regarded as a search through a problem space in which you apply an operator to a state to get a result. Over time, the community no longer regarded Soar as an acronym: this is why it is no longer written in upper case.
2 In education
The Soar licence is in the public domain and thus the software releases are free to download and use.