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Automated Planning: Theory & Practice (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Artificial Intelligence)

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"In recent years, comprehensive texts have been written for several of the other major areas of Artificial Intelligence, including machine learning, natural-language processing, and constraint-satisfaction processing, but until now, the field of planning has been devoid of such a resource, despite the considerable number of advances in and the significant maturation of planning research in the past decade. With Automated Planning: Theory and Practice, Malik Ghallab, Dana Nau, and Paolo Traverso have filled that void, and have done so with a remarkably clear and well-written book."
-From the Foreword by Martha E. Pollack, University of Michigan

Automated planning technology now plays a significant role in a variety of demanding applications, ranging from controlling space vehicles and robots to playing the game of bridge. These real-world applications create new opportunities for synergy between theory and practice: observing what works well in practice leads to better theories of planning, and better theories lead to better performance of practical applications.

Automated Planning mirrors this dialogue by offering a comprehensive, up-to-date resource on both the theory and practice of automated planning. The book goes well beyond classical planning, to include temporal planning, resource scheduling, planning under uncertainty, and modern techniques for plan generation, such as task decomposition, propositional satisfiability, constraint satisfaction, and model checking.

The authors combine over 30 years experience in planning research and development to offer an invaluable text to researchers, professionals, and graduate students.

*Comprehensively explains paradigms for automated planning.
*Provides a thorough understanding of theory and planning practice, and how they relate to each other.
*Presents case studies of applications in space, robotics, CAD/CAM, process control, emergency operations, and games.

About the Author

Malik Ghallab is Director of Research at the Laboratoire d'Analyse et d'Architecture des Systèmes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse. He was the director of the French national AI program, coordinated the five national research programs in information science, and served as the chair of ASTI, the French technical society in information sciences and technologies. Currently, he is also the director of the French national interdisciplinary program on robotics and artificial entities (Robea).

Dana Nau is a professor at the University of Maryland, and an AAAI Fellow. His research interests include AI planning and searching, and computer-integrated design and manufacturing. He holds appointments in the Department of Computer Science, the Institute for Systems Research, the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has more than 250 technical publications, and has co-authored computer programs that won the 1997 world championship of computer bridge and one of the top four awards in the 2002 International Planning Competition. Other awards he has received include an NSF graduate fellowship, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator award, an Outstanding Faculty award, and several best paper awards.

Paolo Traverso is the Head of Sistemi di Ragionamento Automatico at the Instituto Trentino di Cultura - Instituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica, (ITC-IRST). He was the project leader of industrial and experimental projects such as the development of Rail Traffic Management Systems, the design of tools for Automatic Train Protection, the synthesis of industrial controllers, and the development of systems for planning and control in space environment.

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