• March 17, 2017 - Submissions
  • April 14, 2017 - Notification
  • May 15, 2017 - Camera-ready
  • June 19 or 20, 2017 - Workshop



Planning, Search, and Optimization

An ICAPS'17 Workshop
Pittsburgh, USA
19-20 June 2017

The field of AI planning shares many parallels with a diverse range of optimization areas, such as mathematical programming, constraint programming, and stochastic optimization. However, the potential integration of concepts and techniques used in these fields remains largely unexplored. For instance, one of the most popular strategies for solving planning problems is A* search, which is similar in many ways to a branch-and-bound strategy that is predominantly used to solve mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) problems. This opens the possibility of adapting several auxiliary methods to speed up search (including, e.g., merging, landmarks, and cutting planes algorithms) from one area to the other.

Topics and Objectives

In this workshop, we aim to explore the similarities and differences of AI and optimization, and ways that we can leverage the methodologies from one field to the other. An important part of this workshop is extending our knowledge of closely related fields, and positioning ourselves as a community to introduce researchers of these fields to AI planning concepts.

There have been some pioneering efforts at using optimization techniques for planning; notably in compilation approaches to MILP and/or constraint programming. We welcome submissions on these topics and more, including (but not limited to):

  • formulating the heuristic generation and selection as an optimization problem;
  • using MILP algorithms and techniques for efficient computation of heuristics in classical planning;
  • hybridization of optimization techniques (e.g,. linear, mixed integer linear, constraint, nonlinear programming, and satisfiability modulo theory) to handle planning problems involving a combination of both logical and numeric constraints;
  • integration of existing optimization techniques with planning to improve search performance.

The goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for researchers in AI planning, search, and optimization to investigate novel problems and solution approaches, as well as to discuss opportunities and challenges arising when applying optimization to planning and vice-versa. We encourage applications of optimization technology to planning/search problems, applications of traditional planning/search technology (e.g., variations of A* search) to optimization problems, and hybrid approaches that combine planning and optimization. This workshop is complementary to HSDIP, since the topic of heuristic search is highly relevant for the optimization community. However, PlanSOpt will focus more deeply on the language, ideas and methods from optimization fields. The workshop will therefore be more accessible to conference attendees from the general optimization community, and will provide an excellent entry into AI planning topics.


Please format submissions in AAAI style (see instructions in the Author Kit) and keep them to at most 8 pages excluding references. Authors considering submitting to the workshop papers rejected from the main conference, please ensure you do your utmost to address the comments given by ICAPS reviewers.

Submissions should be made through EasyChair at the following URL:

Deadlines and Dates

  • Submission deadline: March 17th, 2017
  • Notification: April 14th, 2017
  • Camera-ready version: May 15th, 2017
  • Workshop: June 19th or 20th, 2017

Every submission will be reviewed by up to three members of the program committee according to the usual criteria such as relevance to the workshop, significance of the contribution, and technical quality. The review process will be single-blind: the authors' identity will be known to the reviewers, but not vice versa.

Submissions sent to other conferences are allowed if this does not interfere with their submission rules. Submissions under double-blind review in another conference must be anonymous. In particular, submissions of papers under revision in IJCAI17 must be anonymous.

We also welcome submissions of previously published papers. In such cases, we ask that the authors submit a 1-2 page extended abstract that cites the original paper and includes "Extended Abstract" in the title. These submissions will go through a light review process to ensure that they fit within the scope of the PlanSOpt workshop.

The workshop is meant to be an open and inclusive forum, and we encourage papers that report on work in progress or that do not fit the mold of a typical conference paper.

At least one author of each accepted paper must attend the workshop in order to present the paper. Authors must register for the ICAPS main conference in order to attend the workshop. There will be no separate workshop-only registration.

Workshop Organizers

  • Andre A. Cire, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Christina Burt, Zuse Institute Berlin, Germany
  • Florian Pommerening, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Christian Muise, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA