Lab Affiliation(s):
Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor:
Brian Williams
Areas of Expertise:
  • Autonomous Systems & Robotics
  • Automated Planning
  • Artificial Intelligence
Date PhD Completed:
March, 2012
Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position:
October 27, 2015

Erez Karpas

  • Post Doctoral

MIT Unit Affiliation: 

  • Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Lab Affiliation(s): 


Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor: 

Brian Williams

Date PhD Completed: 

Mar, 2012

Top 3 Areas of Expertise: 

Autonomous Systems & Robotics
Automated Planning
Artificial Intelligence

Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position: 

October 27, 2015


Research Projects: 

Autonomous Systems

Thesis Title: 

Non-classical Heuristics for Classical Planning

Thesis Abstract: 

Domain-independent planning is one of the foundational areas in the field of Artificial
Intelligence (AI). A planning task consists of an initial
world state, a goal, and a set of actions for modifying the world state, with the
objective of finding a plan that transforms the initial world state
into a goal state. In cost-optimal planning, we are interested in finding not
just any valid plan, but a cheapest such plan.
One of the most prominent approaches to cost-optimal planning these days is
heuristic state-space search, guided by a heuristic which estimates the distance
from each state to the goal.
Most heuristics for domain-independent planning are what we call classical ---
they estimate the distance from some given state to the goal using only
properties of the given state. In this work, we explore non-classical
heuristics --- heuristics which exploit additional information gathered during
search. We propose a mathematical model which allows us to formally define
non-classical heuristics, as well as a useful taxonomy of heuristics along
several dimensions. We then describe two different classes of non-classical
heuristics: landmark-based heuristics, and machine-learning based heuristics. 
Our empirical evaluation shows that non-classical heuristics are not just an
interesting theoretical possibility, but rather state of the art tools in
heuristic search planning.


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