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Of Plans, Programs, and Automata: 101 things you can do with AI Automated Planning

Sheila McIlraith ( University of Toronto )

The field of Artificial Intelligence Automated Planning has seen significant advances in the last 15 years, largely as a result of innovations in planning-specific heuristic search and SAT techniques.

Much of the focus has been on so-called classical planning systems which assume complete information about the initial state of a system at the outset of planning, deterministic actions, and a final state goal.

Unfortunately, many interesting real-world problems violate classical planning assumptions.  In this talk, I will discuss planning with temporally extended goals, constraints, and preferences, specified in Linear Temporal Logic (LTL) and via programs specified in an Algol-like language called Golog, which together capture the expressivity of finite state automata.  A main focus of this talk will be on how to leverage these expressive languages to help guide heuristic search.  We have explored these techniques in a diversity of problem settings from web service composition to verification and concurrent test generation. This talk should be of some interest to anyone who is concerned with reachability in dynamical systems. This is joint work with Jorge Baier, Christian Fritz, and Shirin Sohrabi.

Speaker bio

Sheila McIlraith is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. Prior to joining U of T, Prof. McIlraith spent six years as a Research Scientist at Stanford University, and one year at Xerox PARC. McIlraith's research is in the area of knowledge representation and reasoning with a focus on reasoning about dynamical systems. She has 10 years of industrial R&D experience developing artificial intelligence applications. McIlraith is the author of over 100 scholarly publications. She is past associate editor of the journal Artificial Intelligence, co-chair of the 13th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR2012), and program co-chair of the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2004). In 2011 McIlraith was appointed a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). McIlraith's early work on Semantic Web Services has had notable impact. In 2011 she and her co-authors were honoured with the SWSA 10-year Award, recognizing the highest impact paper from the International Semantic Web Conference, 10 years prior. Her research has also made practical contributions to the development of next-generation NASA space systems and to emerging Web standards.

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