Workshop on Planning and Inference

One day workshop to be held with
AAAI 2018
2 February, 2018

Overview Call for Papers Dates Program Committee Workshop Program



The workshop is focused on the problems of Stochastic Planning and Probabilistic Inference and the intimate connections between them. Both Planning and inference are core tasks in AI and the connections between them have been long recognized. However, much of the work in these subareas is disjoint. The last decade has seen many exciting developments with explicit constructions and reductions between planning and inference that aim for efficient algorithms for large scale problems and applications. The work in this area is is distributed across many conferences, sub-communities, and sub-topics and varies from discrete to continuous problems, single vs. multi-agent problems, general vs. spatial problems, propositional vs. relational problems, model based planning vs. reinforcement learning, and exact/optimal vs. approximate vs. heuristic solutions. Applications similarly vary for example from scheduling to sustainability and to robot control.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from all these areas and facilitate synergy and exchange of ideas: to discuss core ideas, techniques and algorithms that take advantage of the connection between planning and inference, identify opportunities and challenges for future work, and explore applications and how they can inform the development of such work.

The workshop will include invited talks by experts on planning and inference, contributed talks and a poster session, leaving room for discussion and interaction among participants.

The workshop topic is broad and the intention of this first workshop is to enable interaction among the various sub-areas while keeping the focus on the interaction between planning and inference. Some basic questions:

Paper Submission

We invite 4 types of submissions (typeset in the AAAI style):

All papers should clearly explain how the work relates planning and inference.

Submissions of papers being reviewed for AAAI 2018, or at other venues are welcome since this is a non archival venue (and if published they can be replaced with a 1 page abstract). If such papers are currently under blind review, please anonymize the submission.

Submission procedure: Please submit your paper through

Important Dates

Conference Committee


Program Committee

Workshop Program

The program includes keynote talks, invited presentations, and contributed papers. Schedule:
8:30-10:30 - Session 1
8:30- 8:45 Introductory notes and Workshop overview.
8:45- 9:30 - Keynote Talk: Rina Dechter: On Search solvers for Marginal Map and their applicability to Probabilistic Planning.
9:30- 9:50 - Generalized Dual Decomposition for Bounding Maximum Expected Utility of Influence Diagrams with Perfect Recall. Junkyu Lee, Alexander Ihler and Rina Dechter.
9:50-10:10 - Lifted Stochastic Planning, Belief Propagation and Marginal MAP. Hao Cui and Roni Khardon.
10:10-10:30 - R2PG: Risk-Sensitive and Reliable Policy Gradient. Bo Liu, Ji Liu and Kenan Xiao.
10:30-11:00 - Coffee Break
11:00-12:30 - Session 2
11:00-11:30 - Invited Presentation: David Wingate Probabilistic Programming for Theory of Mind for Autonomous Agents.
11:30-12:00 - Invited Presentation: Jan-Willem van de Meent: Probabilistic programming for planning as inference problems.
12:00-12:30 - Invited Presentation: Pascal Poupart: Planning as Marginal MAP and Stochastic SAT. [abstract]
12:30-2:00 - Lunch Break (lunch on your own)
2:00-3:30 - Session 3
2:00- 2:45 - Keynote Talk: Pascal Van Hentenryck: Planning for Energy and Transportation Systems.
2:45- 3:05 - Learning Others' Intentional Models in Multi-Agent Settings Using Interactive POMDPs. Yanlin Han and Piotr Gmytrasiewicz.
3:05- 3:25 - Planning and Learning For Decentralized MDPs With Event Driven Rewards. Tarun Gupta, Akshat Kumar and Praveen Paruchuri.
3:30-4:00 - Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 - Session 4
4:00- 4:45 - Keynote Talk: Marc Toussaint: Physical Manipulation Planning and Sufficient Symbols.
4:45- 5:15 - Invited Presentation: Qiang Liu: Reasoning and Decisions in High Dimensions -- A Unified Approach. [abstract]
5:15- 5:30 - Conclusion / Discussion.

Contact Information

Queries about the workshop should be directed to