Announcement: Summer School on AI Planning

Subject: Announcement: Summer School on AI Planning
From: Juergen Sauer (
Date: Sun Jul 23 2000 - 11:44:43 MET DST

> International Summer School on AI Planning
> 28 September - 1st October 2000
> Coral Beach Hotel, Cyprus
> =========================
>General Information
>Domain independent planning is a thriving area of research in
>both Europe and the US, encompassing an increasingly diverse
>range of techniques and approaches. Although domain indepen-
>dent planning has been a lively area of academic research for
>many years, the resulting technology has had few large scale ap-
>plications in the industrial and commercial sectors. An important
>barrier to their use has been the poor performance of the pro-
>posed techniques when used directly on commercial or industrial
>problem instances. The techniques have, typically, only been able
>to deal with very small instances of planning problems. Another
>important barrier to the widespread use of planning technology is
>the need to acquire planning expertise before it is possible to
>be an effective user.
>The development of basic planning technology has made important
>strides forward in recent years. Some new efficient approach-
>es to AI planning have been proposed (Graphplan-based planning,
>SAT/CSP-based planning, planning as model checking, efficient
>HTN planning, planning as heuristic search, etc.) which have
>dramatically increased the scale and complexity of problem in-
>stances that can be tackled by domain-independent technology.
>The planning systems based on these approaches have been shown to
>be drastically more efficient than earlier ones, and therefore
>constitute a promising foundation for real application. Whilst
>many of these planning approaches have so far been focussed on
>highly restricted domain representations there have been some
>important recent developments in the expressive power of the
>domain representation languages that can be handled, allowing the
>modelling of time, continuous processes and resources. Much of
>the power of the modern planning approaches derives from
>their effective search algorithms and heuristics, the efficient
>representations of the search spaces they explore, and from the
>ability of some of these systems to exploit domain knowledge, ei-
>ther supplied by a domain expert or automatically inferred using
>domain analysis techniques.
>The school will bring together subject experts, from several
>countries in Europe and America, in order to introduce the
>broad range of current planning approaches and to consider ways
>of developing and exploiting these to make planning a realisti-
>cally usable tool for complex problem-solving.
>Lecturers and Courses
>The school offers seven courses, each comprising two/three semi-
>nars of approximately ninety minutes in length. The lecturers
>Dr. Hector Geffner (Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela) "Heuris-
>tic Search Planning: Models, Heuristics and Algorithms"
>Dr. Malik Ghallab (LAAS-CNRS, France) "Planning with Time and Re-
>Professor Subbarao Kambhampati (Arizona State University, USA) "A
>Unifying and Brand-Name-Free Introduction to Planning"
>Dr. Derek Long (University of Durham, UK) "Pre-processing and Do-
>main Analysis"
>Professor Dana Nau (University of Maryland, USA) "Ordered Task
>Decomposition: Theory and Applications"
>Professor Bernhard Nebel (Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg,
>Germany) "Computational Complexity of Planning and Expressiveness
>of Planning Formalisms"
>Dr. Paulo Traverso (ITC-IRST Trento, Italy) "Planning as Model
>The school will also run a general session in which posters will
>be displayed and demonstrations performed. Any participants in-
>terested in displaying a poster on their current work, or in giv-
>ing a demonstration of a planning system, or of some component of
>a planning system, should send a short proposal (between 1000 and
>2000 words) to one of the technical chairs by the deadline for
>the first stage of registration (see below). Notification of ac-
>ceptance of such proposals will be made by July 30.
>Please note: anyone intending to give a computer demonstration
>must bring a portable computer. No facilities can be made avail-
>able by the school for such demonstrations.
>The scientific programme chairs are Dr. Maria Fox
>(, University of Durham, UK) and Professor Al-
>fonso Gerevini (, University of Brescia,
>Italy). The local arrangements chair is Dr. Yannis Dimopoulos
>(, University of Cyprus, Cyprus).
>The school consists of a three-day scientific programme and two
>social events. The first social event is the School Dinner, to be
>held on Friday 29th September. The second is the end-of-school
>Barbeque, to be held in the morning of Sunday 1st October. The
>registration fee includes the cost of the School Dinner, but the
>Barbeque must be paid for separately. Please confirm, when you
>register, whether you will be attending the Barbeque. Payment
>for the Barbeque will be made at the school.
>Details of the technical programme can be found at:
>Notice and Dates
>The school is aimed at PhD students and young academic re-
>searchers. In order to ensure the success of the school it has
>been decided to restrict registrations to a maximum of 40. The
>registration process is in two parts: (i) First, complete an ap-
>plication form giving your reasons for wishing to attend the
>school (a maximum of 1000 words) and making any appeal you intend
>to make for financial assistance. No fees are payable at this
>stage. Prospective participants should send an application to
>Maria Fox by June 30, 2000. Notification of successful applica-
>tion, and details of any financial assistance that has been
>awarded, will be posted by July 5 2000. (ii) Second, complete a
>registration form and send it to the local arrangements secretary
>by July 30, 2000. On this form you will be asked to indicate
>whether you would like the barbeque. You will be asked to pay
>your registration fee at this point (please note that American
>Express cannot be accepted). You will also be asked to supply
>travel details so that the school can try to arrange transporta-
>tion for you from the airport at Larnaca. Please note that such
>arrangements cannot be guaranteed.
>The forms can be found at
>Application forms (stage 1) should be sent to Maria Fox
>Registration forms (stage 2) should be sent to the local organi-
>sation secretary (see form).
>A limited amount of funding is available to help cover part of
>the travelling and accommodation expenses of EEC student partici-
>pants. Please include your request within the application. We
>cannot guarantee that financial assistance will be given. Appli-
>cants will be notified about whether they have been successful in
>obtaining financial assistance at the end of the first stage of
>the registration process.
>Accommodation and Registration fees
>Accommodation is in the Coral Beach Hotel and is priced at 240
>CYP (420 Euro). This covers costs for four nights in single room
>with breakfast. Participants are required to book their own ac-
>commodation with the hotel. Participants making their bookings
>before the end of July are guaranteed to secure accommodation in
>the hotel. After this time bookings will be subject to availabil-
>ity. Booking requests can be sent either by fax (+357-6-621742)
>or by email ( quoting Planning Summer
>School. The Coral Beach Hotel is 20-25 minutes drive by taxi
>from Paphos airport (costs about 10 CYP). It is 1 hour and 40
>minutes by taxi from Larnaca aiport (costs about 40 CYP).
><p>The registration fee is 77 CYP (135 Euro) and includes lunches
>on the 28th, 29th and 30th September, refreshments on these days,
>the cost of the School Dinner and copies of the lecturers' teach-
>ing materials. The fee is non-refundable.
>Further Information
>More detailed information on courses and social arrangements of
>the school can be found at the URL:
>The Cyprus Tourism Organisation web site can be found at:
>Requests for information about the school, grants and applica-
>tions should be addressed to:
> enquiries)
> or (scientific pro-
>gramme enquiries)
>Under the auspices of
>PLANET - European Network of Excellence in AI Planning.

Dr. Juergen Sauer Telefon: ++49-(0)441-9722-220
Universitaet Oldenburg Sekr./ Fax: -201/ -202
FB Informatik Software-Labor
Escherweg 2, D-26121 OLDENBURG

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