Collaborating Authors

Planning & Scheduling

Papua New Guinea cancels flights, plans evacuation after volcano erupts

Al Jazeera

A volcanic eruption on a remote island of Papua New Guinea has pushed some residents to begin evacuating and the island's airport to cancel flights. Ulawun, the South Pacific nation's most active volcano, spewed smoke up to 15km (9.3 miles) in the air on Monday afternoon, the country's Geohazards Management Division said, in its first significant blow-up in years. The eruption on New Britain island prompted officials to coordinate evacuation plans and cancel fights at the region's Hoskins airport. The ash plume continued to rise on Tuesday, reaching at least 5km (3.1 miles), but the country's geological hazard division downgraded its alert level from Level 4 to Level 3 – indicating a "moderate to strong eruption" rather than a "very strong eruption". Still, the volcano remained active and the outburst could continue indefinitely, the division said.

Maintenance of Plan Libraries for Case-Based Planning: Offline and Online Policies

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Case-based planning is an approach to planning where previous planning experience provides guidance to solving new problems. Such a guidance can be extremely useful, or even necessary, when the new problem is very hard to solve, or the stored previous experience is highly valuable, because, e.g., it was provided or validated by human experts, and the system should try to reuse it as much as possible. To do so, a case-based planning system stores in a library previous planning experience in the form of already encountered problems and their solutions. The quality of such a plan library critically influences the performance of the planner, and therefore it needs to be carefully designed and created. For this reason, it is also important to update the library during the lifetime of the system, as the type of problems being addressed may evolve or differ from the ones the library was originally designed for. Moreover, like in general case-based reasoning, the library needs to be maintained at a manageable size, otherwise the computational cost of querying it grows excessively, making the entire approach ineffective. In this paper, we formally define the problem of maintaining a library of cases, discuss which criteria should drive the maintenance, study the computational complexity of the maintenance problem, and propose offline techniques to reduce an oversized library that optimize different criteria. Moreover, we introduce a complementary online approach that attempts to limit the growth of the library, and we consider the combination of offline and online techniques to ensure the best performance of the case-based planner. Finally, we experimentally show the practical effectiveness of the offline and online methods for reducing the library.

De facto ban lifted on building onshore windfarms in England

The Guardian > Energy

Michael Gove has loosened restrictions on building onshore windfarms in England, meaning developments will no longer be quashed by one objection, but campaigners have said such schemes are still at a disadvantage. The communities secretary announced on Tuesday that the government would make a series of changes to the planning system in order to lift a de facto ban on the structures that has been in place since 2015. The move comes after a long campaign by Conservative MPs to overturn the 2015 rules, which have allowed local authorities to block new turbines based on just one complaint. Those rules have led to just 20 new onshore turbines being given planning permission in the last nine years. Gove said: "To increase our energy security and develop a cleaner, greener economy, we are introducing new measures to allow local communities to back onshore wind power projects. This will only apply in areas where developments have community support, but these changes will help build on Britain's enormous success as a global leader in offshore wind, helping us on our journey to net zero."

UK air traffic issue fixed but flights remain affected

Al Jazeera

Britain's National Air Traffic Services (NATS) was hit by a technical problem for several hours on Monday, causing widespread disruption to flights using the United Kingdom's airspace. NATS had earlier had to restrict the flow of aircraft after the issue affected its system's ability to automatically process flight plans, with airlines and airports warning of delays and cancellations. "We have identified and remedied the technical issue affecting our flight planning system this morning. We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible," NATS said in a statement later on Monday. "The flight planning issue affected the system's ability to automatically process flight plans, meaning that flight plans had to be processed manually which cannot be done at the same volume, hence the requirement for traffic flow restrictions."

Hierarchical Decompositions and Termination Analysis for Generalized Planning

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

This paper presents new methods for analyzing and evaluating generalized plans that can solve broad classes of related planning problems. Although synthesis and learning of generalized plans has been a longstanding goal in AI, it remains challenging due to fundamental gaps in methods for analyzing the scope and utility of a given generalized plan. This paper addresses these gaps by developing a new conceptual framework along with proof techniques and algorithmic processes for assessing termination and goal-reachability related properties of generalized plans. We build upon classic results from graph theory to decompose generalized plans into smaller components that are then used to derive hierarchical termination arguments. These methods can be used to determine the utility of a given generalized plan, as well as to guide the synthesis and learning processes for generalized plans. We present theoretical as well as empirical results illustrating the scope of this new approach. Our analysis shows that this approach significantly extends the class of generalized plans that can be assessed automatically, thereby reducing barriers in the synthesis and learning of reliable generalized plans.

Expedia adds new AI features to improve your travel planning. Here's how


I've just got back from a 10-day break and can assure you that planning a trip is far from easy. From deciding where to go, how to get there, and what to do once you arrive, there are many moving parts that can complicate your arrangements. It's for that reason that sites such as Expedia exist to help you navigate every step of the booking process. Now, Expedia is taking it up a notch further -- and helping you book your next trip using artificial intelligence (AI). Also: Could movie studios use AI to replicate an actor's image and use it forever?

F1 returning to China in 2024 as part of major schedule change

BBC News

But F1 has found a way to fit both Bahrain and Jeddah in before Melbourne by making the Middle Eastern events Saturday night races. Ramadan starts on the evening of 10 March, the day after the Saudi event.

Google Search can now help detect skin conditions and show how clothes look on AI models


Google has announced a slew of new search updates, ranging from travel planning to clothes shopping -- oh, and a bit of skin abnormality checking for good measure. That's right, Lens is no longer just for naming a plant or historical object but will now identify things about your skin. You simply upload a picture into Lens, and it will show you similar images. This update might be good for determining if you have a tick bite, but, like any Google searches when you're not feeling well, it could lead you down a pretty scary rabbit hole. Try to consult with a doctor if there are any spots you're unsure about across your skin.

Potential memorial designs for Las Vegas massacre unveiled, major step in planning process

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on A series of white angel wings rise up from the earth bathed in a warm glow of light, their sweeping forms creating a long covered pathway surrounded by trees in a possible centerpiece for the memorial to modern America's deadliest mass shooting. It's one of five potential designs unveiled Monday for a permanent monument on the Las Vegas Strip where 58 people were shot and killed and hundreds more injured at a country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017. Two survivors later died from their gunshot wounds.

'Transformers' star on becoming a doomsday prepper: Planning in case 's*** hits the fan' in Los Angeles

FOX News

New Yorkers reveal what they would put in their doomsday bags. "Transformers" and "Las Vegas" star Josh Duhamel has spoken out about becoming a doomsday prepper, stating that he's planning on protecting his family if the "s*** hits the fan" in Los Angeles. The actor, who has starred in the TV show "Las Vegas," gave an interview in which he explained, "I've become a bit of a doomsday prepper, I guess." Duhamel told the website Inverse, "I'm learning how to hunt. He added, "Suddenly I had 54 acres out there.