The Industry & Application Panel will discuss how to increase the impact of ICAPS research on societal and industrial problems, and how to let researchers benefit from learning about practical issues. The objective of this roundtable is then to find ways to improve the interaction between the ICAPS community and the industry along two lines of thought: 1) Getting ICAPS results to industry, and 2) Getting ICAPS research more directed by problems that are relevant in practice.
The panelists are Christina Burt (Fortescue Metals Group), Hoong Chuin Lau (Singapore Management University), Andrea Micheli (Fondazione Bruno Kessler), Cédric Pralet (ONERA), and Mark Boddy (Adventium Labs). Mathijs de Weerdt (TU Delft) and Florent Teichteil-Koenigsbuch (Airbus) will serve as moderators.
Christina Burt leads the Assignment Engine stream for an in-house software product. She is responsible for developing efficient algorithms for dispatching fleet within a mining context. She has extensive experience in both academia and industry, having completed three postdocs and two previous roles developing products within industry. Her technical focus has been optimisation inspired decomposition algorithms, with a bent for mathematical programming for difficult scheduling problems.
Hoong Chuin Lau is a Professor of Computer Science at the School of Computing and Information Systems at the Singapore Management University, and Specially Appointed Professor of AI and Information at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. His research in the interface of Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research has contributed to advances of algorithms in a variety of complex planning and optimization problems in logistics, transportation, and safety and security. The common thread running through his research is a focus on going beyond publications to build usable novel tools and prototypes, a number of which have been field tested and deployed in industry.
Andrea Micheli is a researcher at FBK focusing on the development and technology transfer of planning technologies. He obtained his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Trento in 2016. For his PhD thesis titled "Planning and Scheduling in Temporally Uncertain Domains'' won several awards including the EurAI Best Dissertation Award and the honorable mention at the ICAPS Best Dissertation award. He currently works in the field of Temporal Planning and is the main developer of the TAMER planner (tamer.fbk.eu). He is also lead developer of the pysmt (www.pysmt.org) open-source project aiming at providing a standard Python API for satisfiability modulo theory solvers. Andrea coordinates the AIPlan4EU project (www.aiplan4eu-project.eu) aiming to remove the access barriers to automated planning technology and to bring such technology to the European AI On-Demand Platform. He authored more than 30 papers in the Formal Methods and Artificial Intelligence fields.
Cédric Pralet works as a researcher at ONERA, the French Aerospace Lab. He graduated from an engineering school in aeronautics and space in 2003, passed his PhD in Computer Science in 2006, and has been entitled to supervise research in 2015. His research interests concern constraint-based optimization and automated planning and scheduling applied to problems from the aerospace field, especially for the design and operations of satellites.
Mark Boddy has been working in industrial research and development for more than 30 years. He has worked on applications including manufacturing operations, refinery scheduling, avionics for commercial aircraft, military operations, and both attack planning and vulnerability analysis for cybersecurity.
Career Development Panel
A career - whether in industry or academia - is a long journey that is different for everyone. The Career Development Panel will discuss which barriers and support the panelists encountered at different stages and how they succeeded to grow in their career. It will be interesting to everyone who wants to develop their own career or who is in a role to support others, e.g. as an advisor or mentor.
The panelists are Christina Burt (Fortescue Metals Group), Meghna Lowalekar (THB), Sarah Keren (Technion) and Sheila McIlraith (University of Toronto). Gabriele Roger (University of Basel) will serve as moderator.
Christina Burt started out with an Applied Mathematics degree and PhD in Optimisation. She completed two postdocs at the University of Melbourne - one with the mathematics department and the other with the computing department, developing a specialisation in decomposition algorithms. She went to Vienna for a third postdoc before working in industry with AI consulting company Satalia (Berlin and London) and solving a water blending problem for Water Corporation in Perth, Australia. She is currently with Fortescue Metals Group writing algorithms for assigning autonomous trucks in a mining context.
Meghna Lowalekar is currently working as a Data Science consultant for THB, a healthcare analytics company. She received her Ph.D. from School of Information Systems, Singapore Management University in 2020 where she was jointly advised by Prof. Pradeep Varakantham from SMU and Prof. Patrick Jaillet from MIT. Her research interest lies in sequential decision making, online stochastic optimization and robust optimization. She has published papers at prestigious AI journals (JAIR, AIJ) and conferences (AAAI, AAMAS, ICAPS). Her work received Best Dissertation award at ICAPS 2022, Best Application Paper Award at ICAPS 2019 and Best Demo Award at AAMAS 2018.
Sarah Keren is a senior lecturer (assistant professor) at The Taub Faculty of Computer Science at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Before joining the Technion, Sarah was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her PhD from the Technion. Sarah’s research focuses on providing theoretical foundations for AI systems that are capable of effective collaboration with each other and with people. She has received several awards, including the ICAPS 2020 Best Dissertation Honorable Mention, the ICAPS 2014 Honorable Mention for Best Paper, the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Postdoctoral Award for Women in Mathematical and Computing Sciences, and the Weizmann Institute of Science National Postdoctoral Award for Advancing Women in Science.
Sheila McIlraith is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, a Faculty Member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and a Canada CIFAR AI Chair. Prior to joining U of T in 2004, McIlraith spent six years as a Research Scientist at Stanford University, and one year at Xerox PARC. McIlraith is the author of over 100 scholarly publications in the area of knowledge representation, automated reasoning and machine learning. Her work focuses on AI sequential decision making broadly construed, through the lens of human-compatible AI. McIlraith is a fellow of the ACM, a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and a past President of KR Inc., the international scientific foundation concerned with fostering research and communication on knowledge representation and reasoning. McIlraith is an associate editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR), a past associate editor of the journal Artificial Intelligence (AIJ), and a past board member of Artificial Intelligence Magazine. She is currently serving on the Steering Committee of the Stanford One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence.
Planning competitions have been part and parcel of ICAPS (and ECP/AIPS before) for nearly a quarter of a century. This Competitions Panel will discuss the past, present, and future of planning competitions. The panelists represent diverse planning competitions, and will share their experience from past competitions as well as plans for future competitions.
The panelists are Scott Sanner (University of Toronto), Jendrik Seipp (Linköping University), Mauro Vallati (University of Huddersfield), Ron Alford (MITRE) and Daniel Harabor (Monash University). Erez Karpas (Technion) will serve as moderator.
Scott Sanner is an Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering and Cross-appointed in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Scott has served as Program Co-chair for the 26th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) and as Planning and Learning Track Co-Chair for ICAPS 2018, 2021 and 2022. Scott also co-organized the 2011 and 2014 ICAPS International Probabilistic Planning Competitions (IPPCs).
Jendrik Seipp is an assistant professor in AI at Linköping University, Sweden, where he co-leads the Representation, Learning and Planning Lab. He obtained his PhD in 2018 at the University of Basel, Switzerland. His research focuses on classical planning and its connections to machine learning. For his work he received the ICAPS 2020 Best Dissertation award and four Best Paper awards at AAAI, IJCAI, and SoCS. The planning systems he co-developed won awards at all four International Planning Competitions since 2011.
Mauro Vallati is a reader at the Department of Computer Science, University of Huddersfield. He has co-organised the deterministic part of the International Planning Competition (IPC) in 2014, the 2016 edition of the International Competition on Knowledge Engineering for Planning and Scheduling (ICKEPS), and the 2019 Planning Sparkle Challenge. Considering the wider AI area, he has been co-founder of the International Competition on Computational Models of Argumentation, and a member of the corresponding steering committee between 2015 and 2021.
Ron Alford is a researcher for MITRE, focussing on AI for robotics and cybersecurity. He provided a prototype language for HDDL, multiple translations of HTNs into PDDL, and several HTN competition domains.
Daniel Harabor is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Data Science & AI, Monash University. He and his team have won the 2020 Flatland Challenge using multi-agent path finding (MAPF) techniques.