CFP: NASA Planning and Scheduling workshop

Subject: CFP: NASA Planning and Scheduling workshop
From: Kanna Rajan (
Date: Wed Nov 24 1999 - 23:30:03 MET

        [Apologies if you get multiple copies of this CFP]

                Final Call for Participation
2nd International NASA Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space

                March 16th to 18th 2000,
                Holiday Inn, Financial District
                 San Francisco
                   California, USA

This meeting is the second in a regular series started in October 1997
at Oxnard, California. Since then, the importance of automated
planning and scheduling for the space enterprise has become
increasingly clear. NASA technologists and computer scientists have
also demonstrated the practical feasibility of these technologies in
the context of real missions. For example, the Deep Space 1 Remote
Agent Experiment in May 1999 for the first time demonstrated the use
of a planner/scheduler operating within the high-level closed-loop
control of a spacecraft traveling in interplanetary space. However, to
make Planning and Scheduling a ubiquitous technology for space
missions, many challenges still remain, including issues in design,
development and fielding of such systems in mission critical areas of
spacecraft operations. For example:
* Responsiveness: When operating within a closed-loop control system,
  issues related to responsiveness and balance between deliberation and
  reactivity become more and more important. So far we do not have good
  answers on how to coherently insert planning activities with different
  reactivity guarantees at the different levels of an optimizing,
  hierarchical control system.

* Validation: Validating the behavior of an automated planner/scheduler
  in an operational context is a major challenge. An automated planner
  makes it possible for a system to adapt its actions to changing
  execution conditions. However, we still do not know how to guarantee
  that a plan generated in a previously untested situation will indeed
  operate the system correctly and safely.

* Mixed-Initiative autonomy: As planning systems become an integral part
  of mission operation concepts, it becomes crucial to solve the problem
  of guaranteeing a seamless collaboration between automated schedulers
  and human operators. This includes support for variable levels of
  autonomy, representational formalisms for doing mixed-initiative
  reasoning, resolving conflicts between operator requests and existing
  plans or flight rules and providing the operator with explanations or
  insight into the behavior of the planning system.

* Mission acceptance: Gaining acceptance of planning and scheduling
  technology for real missions requires balancing the promise of
  advanced technology with the need for safety and reliability. The
  underlying representation, algorithms, interface with existing tools,
  and user interface all play important roles in the final usefulness
  and usability of the technology.

This workshop aims to debate these and other issues in the context of
space missions and applications involving both completely automated
systems and those with human intervention in the exploration of
space. Within this area, planning and scheduling is important in (but
not restricted to)

* Spacecraft commanding and payload operations;
* Operations of air, space and ground based scientific observatories;
* Scheduling of critical resources whether on the ground or onboard;
* Science data analysis;
* Design and analysis of spacecraft systems;
* Planning and scheduling of scientific experiments;
* Planning and scheduling for life support systems;
* Operations and payload scheduling for space transportation systems.

To guarantee a lively debate grounded in actual operational needs, the
workshop will bring together:

* Researchers addressing basic research relevant to realistic applications for space;
* Technologists working on planning and scheduling applications for space;
* Mission representatives that have direct experience with planning and
  scheduling technology or want to contribute in formulating problems
  and requirements for the area.

To foster a lively and intensive interchange of ideas between the
different groups, paper selection to this workshop will follow a
slightly different process than the previous workshop.

Papers will be submitted to the program committee by the submission
deadline. The program committee will perform a preliminary review of
papers for acceptance to the workshop and for each selected paper
suggest an additional commentator, explicitly selected from a
different community than that of the paper's authors. For example, a
basic research paper may be assigned to an individual who is active in
the development of applications or in mission operations. Authors
should therefore ensure that paper submissions are understandable and
contain adequate background material for the commentator. The
commentator will then be asked to write up a short write-up on the
paper and encouraged to have a dialogue with the paper's authors
either via e-mail or through a web-based posting system provided by
the workshop organizers. At the end of this phase, the program
committee will select 22 papers for inclusion in the plenary session
of the workshop. The format of the paper presentation will include the
presentation of the paper, the presentation of the commentary, a brief
response by the author(s), and time for questions from the floor. All
other accepted papers will be presented at the poster sessions. All
accepted papers and commentaries will be included in the workshop
proceedings. The workshop will also include invited talks and panel


Submission deadline: December 15th 1999
Invitations sent: January 21st 2000
End of commentator/author dialogue: February 15th 2000
Camera Ready papers due: February 25th 2000
Date of Conference: March 16th 2000

Organizing Committee (email:

Jeremy Frank NASA Ames
Keith Golden NASA Ames
Rich Washington NASA Ames

Program Committee (email:

Steve Chien Jet Propulsion Laboratory (co-chair)
Richard Creasey European Space Agency
Tara Estlin Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Paul Hempel NASA Goddard
David Kortenkamp NASA Johnson
Nicola Muscettola NASA Ames (chair)
Karen Myers SRI International
Martha Pollack Univ. of Pittsburgh
Kanna Rajan NASA Ames
Steve Smith Carnegie Mellon Univ.

Participants are encouraged to submit a paper of up to ten pages in 12
point Times Roman font, for inclusion in the workshop
proceedings. Authors should email electronic versions directly to:

   Kanna Rajan
   MS 269-2, NASA Ames Research Center
   Moffett Field, California 94035-1000, USA

Email is the preferred method of submission and papers in PDF format
are strongly encouraged, although postscript format will also be
accepted. The workshop URL is at:


Please watch for the latest information and details on this site.

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