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AAAI Conferences


Twenty-First International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

AAAI Conferences

The theme of IJCAI-09 is "The Interdisciplinary Reach of Artificial Intelligence," with a focus on the broad impact of artificial intelligence on science, engineering, medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities. The conference will include invited talks, workshops, tutorials, and other events dedicated to this theme.


Twenty-Third IAAI Conference

AAAI Conferences

The Twenty-Third Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-11) will be held in San Francisco, California at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, from August 9–11, 2011, USA. The proceedings will be published by AAAI Press. This site only contains the published proceedings of the conference. For information about the conference in general, please see the conference website.


Twenty-Fourth IAAI Conference

AAAI Conferences

The Twenty-Fourth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence conference (IAAI 2012) will be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 22–26 2012. The proceedings will be published by AAAI Press. This site only contains the published proceedings of the conference. For information about the conference in general, please see the conference website.


Unifying Search-Based and Compilation-Based Approaches to Multi-Agent Path Finding through Satisfiability Modulo Theories

AAAI Conferences

We describe an attempt to unify search-based and compilation-based approaches to multi-agent path finding (MAPF) through satisfiability modulo theories (SMT). The task in MAPF is to navigate agents in an undirected graph to given goal vertices so that they do not collide. We rephrase Conflict-Based Search (CBS), one of the state-of-the-art algorithms for optimal MAPF solving, in the terms of SMT. This idea combines SAT-based solving known from MDD-SAT, a SAT-based optimal MAPF solver, at the low level with conflict elimination of CBS at the high level. Where the standard CBS branches the search after a conflict occurs, we refine the propositional model with a disjunctive constraint instead. Our novel algorithm called SMT-CBS hence does not branch at the high-level but incrementally extends the propositional model that is consulted with the SAT solver at each iteration. We experimentally compare SMT-CBS with CBS and MDD-SAT.


Intuitive, Reliable Plans with Contingencies: Planning with Safety Nets for Landmark-Based Routing

AAAI Conferences

We are interested in the problem of providing intuitive instructions for human agents to enable reliable navigation in unknown environments. Since the advent of GPS and digital maps, a common approach is to visually provide a planned path on a digital map defined in terms of actions to take at specific junctions. However, this approach relies on the agent to constantly and accurately localize itself. Furthermore, it comes in stark contrast to the way humans provide instructions—by leveraging known landmarks in the environment to both augment the description of the planned path as well as to allow to detect when the agent deviated from the planned path. Hence, there is need for assurable means of localization, an intuitive way of compactly conveying directions to agents and a systematic approach to account for human errors. To this end, our key insight is to employ known landmarks in the environment to overcome these challenges. We formally model this intuitive way to use landmarks for conveying instructions and for creating contingency plans. We present experiments demonstrating the efficacy of our approach both on synthetic environments as well as on realworld maps, computed using a smart-phone iOS application that we developed.


Multi-Agent Path Finding for Large Agents

AAAI Conferences

Multi-Agent Path Finding (MAPF) has been widely studied in the AI community. For example, Conflict-Based Search (CBS) is a state-of-the-art MAPF algorithm based on a two-level tree-search. However, previous MAPF algorithms assume that an agent occupies only a single location at any given time, e.g., a single cell in a grid. This limits their applicability in many real-world domains that have geometric agents in lieu of point agents. Geometric agents are referred to as “large” agents because they can occupy multiple points at the same time. In this paper, we formalize and study LAMAPF, i.e., MAPF for large agents. We first show how CBS can be adapted to solve LA-MAPF. We then present a generalized version of CBS, called Multi-Constraint CBS (MC-CBS), that adds multiple constraints (instead of one constraint) for an agent when it generates a high-level search node. We introduce three different approaches to choose such constraints as well as an approach to compute admissible heuristics for the high-level search. Experimental results show that all MC-CBS variants outperform CBS by up to three orders of magnitude in terms of runtime. The best variant also outperforms EPEA* (a state-of-the-art A*-based MAPF solver) in all cases and MDD-SAT (a state-of-the-art reduction-based MAPF solver) in some cases.


Revisiting Suboptimal Search

AAAI Conferences

Suboptimal search algorithms can often solve much larger problems than optimal search algorithms, and thus have broad practical use. This paper returns to early algorithms like WA*, A*_e and Optimistic search. It studies the commonalities between these approaches in order to build a new bounded-suboptimal algorithm. Combined with recent research on avoiding node re-expansions in bounded-optimal search, a new solution quality bound is developed, which often provides proof of the solution bound much earlier during the search. Put together, these ideas provide a new state-of-the-art in bounded-optimal search.


A-MHA*: Anytime Multi-Heuristic A*

AAAI Conferences

Designing good heuristic functions for graph search requires adequate domain knowledge. It is often easy to design heuristics that perform well and correlate with the underlying true cost-to-go values in certain parts of the search space but these may not be admissible throughout the domain thereby affecting the optimality guarantees of the search. Bounded suboptimal search using several of such partially good but inadmissible heuristics was developed in Multi-Heuristic A* (MHA*). Although MHA* leverages multiple inadmissible heuristics to potentially generate a faster suboptimal solution, the original version does not improve the solution over time. It is an one shot algorithm that requires careful setting of inflation factors to obtain a desired one time solution. In this work, we tackle this issue by extending MHA* to an anytime version that finds a feasible suboptimal solution quickly and continually improve it until time runs out. Our work is inspired from the Anytime Repairing A* (ARA*) algorithm. We prove that our precise adaptation of ARA* concepts in the MHA* framework preserves the original suboptimal and completeness guarantees and enhances MHA* to perform in an anytime fashion. Furthermore, we report the performance of A-MHA* in 3-D path planning domain and sliding tiles puzzle and compare against MHA* and other anytime algorithms.


Repairing Compressed Path Databases on Maps with Dynamic Changes

AAAI Conferences

Single-agent pathfinding on grid maps can exploit online compiled knowledge produced offline and saved as a Compressed Path Database (CPD). Such a knowledge is distilled by performing repeated searches in a graph, where each node corresponds to a distinct grid cell, typically by algorithms such as Dijkstra's. All-pairs shortest paths (APSPs) are computed and the first move along a shortest path is persistently stored in the CPD. This way, an optimal move can efficiently be retrieved for any pair of source and target cells that is considered while the agent is navigating. However, a CPD supports a static grid, that is, a grid where each cell is permanently either traversable or non-traversable. Our work instead assumes that the cells in the map can undergo dynamic changes. Reasoning about the altered map would require a new CPD. As creating it from scratch is computationally expensive, we present techniques to repair an existing CPD. We prove that using our technique leads to correct and optimal solutions. Experiments demonstrate the benefits of our approach. When a single obstacle of a given size is added or removed, the repair costs often are a small fraction of a recomputation from scratch.


PASAR — Planning as Satisfiability with Abstraction Refinement

AAAI Conferences

One of the classical approaches to automated planning is the reduction to propositional satisfiability (SAT). Recently, it has been shown that incremental SAT solving can increase the capabilities of several modern encodings for SAT-based planning. In this paper, we present a further improvement to SAT-based planning by introducing a new algorithm named PASAR based on the principles of counterexample guided abstraction refinement (CEGAR). As an abstraction of the original problem, we use a simplified encoding where interference between actions is generally allowed. Abstract plans are converted into actual plans where possible or otherwise used as a counterexample to refine the abstraction. Using benchmark domains from recent International Planning Competitions, we compare our approach to different state-of-the-art planners and find that, in particular, combining PASAR with forward state-space search techniques leads to promising results.