Seminar - Planning in Artificial Intelligence: Models, Methods, and Challenges

Hector Geffer from the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies & Universitat Pompeu Fabra will be delivering a seminar on planning in AI

  • Wed 11 Oct 17

    16:00 - 17:30

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Hector Geffner

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of

  • Contact details

    School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

One of the central problems faced by autonomous agents is the selection of the action to do next. In AI, three approaches have been used to address this problem: the programming-based approach, where behavior is hardwired, the learning-based approach, where behavior is learned, and the model-based approach, where behavior follows from a predictive model of the environment and the agent goals. Planning represents the model-based approach with the model representing the situation, the actions, and the sensors. The main challenge in planning is computational, as all the models, whether accommodating feedback and uncertainty or not, are intractable in the worst case. Thus, planners must recognize and exploit the structure of problems automatically in order to scale up.

In the talk, I'll review some the models considered in planning research, the progress achieved in solving these models, and some of the ideas that have turned out to be most useful computationally. I will also discuss applications in video games and how the work fits with the overall goal of a general artificial intelligence.


Hector Geffner is an ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He was born and raised in Buenos Aires, received an EE degree from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, and a PhD in CS from UCLA.  After his PhD, he worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York and at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas. Hector is a fellow of AAAI, ECCAI, board member of EurAI, and former associate editor AIJ and JAIR. He is the author of   "Default Reasoning", MIT Press, 1992, co-editor with Rina Dechter and Joseph Halpern of "Heuristics, Probability and Causality: A Tribute to Judea Pearl", College Publications, 2010, and co-author with Blai Bonet of "A Concise Introduction to Models and Methods for Automated Planning",  Morgan and Claypool,2013. He is the recipient of some distinctions including the 1990 ACM Dissertation Award and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 ICAPS Influential Paper Awards.