Nov. 17, 2020

Prof. Eyal Shimony​ together with his colleagues, Prof. Wheeler Ruml (University of New Hampshire) and Dr. Erez Karpas (Technion) have won an NSF-BSF grant for Planning and Acting While Time Passes.

Planning allows intelligent systems to select actions aimed towards achieving their goals.  However, traditional planning algorithms assume that the world evolves slowly enough, or that the problems to be solved are sufficiently simple, that the world can be considered static during planning.  This limitation means that current planners are unable, for example, to realize that it might be better to quickly find a suboptimal plan to take the bus that is about to leave, rather than to carefully deliberate about optimal plans and thereby miss the bus altogether. Currently, planning representations and algorithms are laboriously manually engineered to ensure that the system responds quickly enough for the intended application, essentially ducking the issue of the passage of time. This project enables more robust and general-purpose intelligent systems by developing new `situated planning' algorithms that are self-aware enough to overcome this limitation.