KR 2018

Reasoning about Actions and Processes:
Highlights of Recent Advances

Held as part of KR 2018, October 28 & 29, 2018, Tempe, Arizona (USA)


The field of Reasoning about actions, a fundamental area of KR, is expanding to incorporate research from a wide range of other areas of AI and CS. In recent years, we have moved from standard forms of reasoning, such as action sequence executabilty and future effects (projection), to more sophisticated forms of reasoning which share many commonalities with other fields of CS, from verification in Formal Methods to process modeling and analysis in Business Process Management. Moreover, connections with planning are being extended to other forms of synthesis, such as generalized planning, MDPs/RL, supervisory control, reactive synthesis, etc. Papers from these various areas are dispersed across many conferences, which makes it difficult to follow the general direction of the field. Drawing upon a successful format followed in other fields (e.g.,, the workshop aims to offer a wide picture of the latest research in the field and a chance to meet everybody in the community.


This workshop aims to bring together researchers working in a variety of areas of AI and CS -- including KR, planning, RL, verification, and synthesis -- to foster these emerging directions of reasoning about actions and processes.


We invite submissions for presentations, not papers. We welcome a presentation on your favorite recent technical work, position paper, or open problems with clear and concise formulations of current challenges. The contributed talks will be 15-minutes long. All sessions will be designed to promote interaction between the attendees by holding frequent discussion periods for analysis and critique. The workshop will also have panel sessions on important emerging issues for the field and longer keynote talks.


Submissions should have a single main author, who will be the speaker, and each speaker can have no more than one submission. Each submission must be 1 or 2 pages long including references (use KR 2018 style), and may refer to joint work with other collaborators to be credited in the presentation. There are no formal proceedings and we encourage submissions of work presented or submitted elsewhere (no copyright transfer is required, only permission to post the abstract on the workshop site).

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Reasoning about actions
  • Representing and reasoning about processes
  • Hierarchical abstractions of action models
  • Generalized planning
  • Verification and Synthesis of high level agent behaviors
  • Agent behavior control
  • Logic-based representation, action theories, temporal logics, logics of programs
  • Stochastic representation, MDPs and Non Markovion Decision Processes
  • Learning dynamic behaviors, RL
  • Partial observability, incomplete information, uncertainty
  • Reasoning about beliefs, goals and intentions
  • First-person vs third person view
  • Plan, intention, and activity recognition
  • Transparency, predictability and accountability of agents' behaviors

Papers can be submitted via EasyChair.

Important Dates

Submission August 4, 2018
Notification August 31, 2018
Workshop October 28 & 29, 2018


Program, Abstracts, Slides

Invited Talks

  • Moshe Y. Vardi, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA
    The Siren Song of Temporal Synthesis

    One of the most significant developments in the area of design verification over the last three decade is the development of algorithmic methods for verifying temporal specification of finite-state designs. A frequent criticism against this approach, however, is that verification is done after significant resources have already been invested in the development of the design. Since designs invariably contains errors, verification simply becomes part of the debugging process. The critics argue that the desired goal is to use temporal specification in the design development process in order to guarantee the development of correct designs. This is called temporal synthesis. In this talk I will review 60 years of research on the temporal synthesis problem, describe the automata-theoretic approach developed to solve this problem, and describe both successes and failures of this research program

  • Shlomo Zilberstein, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA,
    How to Help our Planning Algorithms Succeed?

    Sequential decision models for decentralized decision making such as DEC-POMDP are powerful and elegant approaches for planning in situations that involve multiple cooperating decision makers. They are powerful in the sense that we can, in principle, capture a rich class of problems. They are elegant in the sense that they include the minimal set of ingredients needed to analyze these problems and facilitate rigorous mathematical examination of their fundamental properties. An optimal solution of a DEC-POMDP explicitly answers the question of what should an agent do to maximize value. Implicitly, an optimal solution answers many other questions including the appropriate assignment of meaning to internal memory states, appropriate adoption of goals and subgoals, appropriate assignment of roles to agents, and appropriate assignment of meaning to messages that agents exchange. In fact, an optimal policy implicitly optimizes all these choices, albeit at a very high computational cost. In this talk, I review progress in this area and argue that there is much to be gained by adding structure to the planning problem and explicitly resolving some of these questions so as to simplify an otherwise intractable planning problem.


For registration details see KR 2018 website.

Organizing Committee

Giuseppe De Giacomo University of Rome "La Sapienza"
Andreas Herzig IRIT, CNRS, Universite Paul Sabatier
Yves Lesperance York University
Marco Montali Free University Bozen-Bolzano
Fabio Patrizi University of Rome "La Sapienza"
Sasha Rubin University of Naples "Federico II"
Siddharth Srivastava Arizona State University