Computational sustainability problems, which exist in dynamic environments with high amounts of uncertainty, provide a variety of unique challenges to artificial intelligence research and the opportunity for significant impact upon our collective future. This editorial introduction provides an overview of artificial intelligence for computational sustainability, and introduces the special issue articles that appear in this issue and the previous issue of AI Magazine.
A wide range of sensor-rich, networked embedded systems are being created that must operate robustly for years in the face of novel failures by managing complex autonomic processes. Our objective is to revolutionize the way in which we control these new artifacts by creating reactive model-based programming languages that enable everyday systems to reason intelligently and enable machines to explore other worlds. The program's executive automatically coordinates system interactions to achieve these states, entertaining known and potential failures, using models of its constituents and environment. Model-based programming is being generalized to hybrid discrete-continuous systems and the coordination of networks of robotic vehicles.
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence held its 1997 Fall Symposia Series on 7 to 9 November in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This article contains summaries of the six symposia that were conducted: (1) Communicative Action in Humans and Machines, (2) Context in Knowledge Representation and Natural Language, (3) Intelligent Tutoring System Authoring Tools, (4) Model-Directed Autonomous Systems, (5) Reasoning with Diagrammatic Representations II, and (6) Socially Intelligent Agents.
Williams, Brian C., Nayak, P. Pandurang
These systems include networked building energy systems, autonomous space probes, chemical plant control systems, satellite constellations for remote ecosystem monitoring, power grids, biospherelike life-support systems, and reconfigurable traffic systems, to highlight but a few. Achieving these large-scale modeling and configuration tasks will require a tight coupling between the higher-level coordination function provided by symbolic reasoning and the lower-level autonomic processes of adaptive estimation and control. To be economically viable, they will need to be programmable purely through high-level compositional models. Self-modeling and self-configuration, autonomic functions coordinated through symbolic reasoning, and compositional, model-based programming are the three key elements of a model-based autonomous system architecture that is taking us into the new millennium.