Welcome to the Technical Coordination Unit for Knowledge Engineering.

Coordinator: Lee McCluskey


PLANET is the European Planning Network of Excellence which aims to coordinate the European Community members with an interest in planning and scheduling technologies.

Applying emerging software technologies to real problems often involves developing new methods which incorporate these technologies, and developing tools and platforms to support the methods. Whereas the area of "Software Engineering" originated from the need to provide a sound methodological base to the application of software, "Knowledge Engineering" has grown up as the area that provides methods to assist the implementation and maintenance of knowledge-based systems (KBS). Hence the field of knowledge engineering in AI planning deals with activities involved in implementing and maintaining the knowledge-based aspects of planning systems. This includes the acquisition, validation and verification, and maintenance of planning domain models (the latter are formalised, abstract models that an agent can use to make rational deductions about the application domain the model represents). It also includes the selection of appropriate planning machinery and its integration with the domain model to make up a planning application.

The Knowledge Engineering for Planning Technical Co-ordination Unit of PLANET has been active for the past 3 years. It aims to identify and explore the current major problems involved in developing knowledge-based planning systems, and to examine the potential of future developments (such as the Semantic Web) to contribute to solutions of these problems. We also aim to synthesise related research and techniques from work in more general research areas into a relevant contribution to this area.

To achieve these aims the TCU is active in organising workshops and sponsoring cross-site visits in the subject. Further, we have created and are maintaining a Roadmap Document which summarises past work, and includes a collection of activities and problems that need to be tackled for the future. The Roadmap distinguishes Planning from the more general field of KBS in that the knowledge elicited is largely knowledge about actions, and how objects are effected by actions. Also, the ultimate use of the planning domain model is to be part of a system involved in the synthetic task of plan construction (in contrast to classification or diagnosis tasks common in KBS). Our Roadmap examines topics inherited from these areas, and attempts to point out where we can learn from past work; it also contains other related research areas such as Machine Learning, KE Tools and Formal Methods.

Looking towards the future, we see the areas of knowledge sharing through the use of ontologies, and the development of the Semantic Net as very important to support KE in Planning. As more and more planning technology finds its way into applications, knowledge engineering issues are recognised as crucial to an application's success. The KE TCU therefore covers fundamental issues which are relevant to all of the application-oriented TCUs.


The navigation bar on the left of this page provides hyper links to the following details on the Unit:


GREAT NEWS!! The International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS'05) is to hold a competition in the area of Knowledge Engineering for Planning in 2005 which will be organised by members of the this TCU. This is designed to promote the development of stand-alone interoperable tools to support Knowledge Engineering. Here is our initial announcement of a proposal for an International Competition in Knowledge Engineering for Planning (ICKEP). We will have an official website ready soon..

The workshop on Knowledge Engineering in Planning - The Future was held on Monday, June 9th, 2003 in Trento, Italy. This is to be co-located with ICAPS'03. See the website for details.

The workshop on Web-based Resources and Knowledge Interchange Formats for AI Planning and Scheduling was held on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2002 in Lyon, France. This was co-located with ECAI'02. See the website for details.

The workshop on Knowledge Engineering Tools and Techniques for AI Planningwas a one day workshop co-located with AIPS'02 and held in Toulouse, France, in April, 2002. The website contains online papers and the workshop report.

The workshop on Automated Planning and Scheduling Technologies in New Methods of Work, Web Applications and E- and M-Commerce was a one day workshop co-located with ECP'01 and held in Toledo, Spain, in September, 2001. The website contains online papers and the workshop report.

Announcement of New Research Resource Website: PLANET is developing a website containing links to sets of domains models. This will be developed into a website containg a large range of resources for researchers. Please email Doris Liu at d.liu@hud.ac.uk if you wish to contribute.

Announcement of knowledge engineering research software: GIPO is a research product fron the University of Huddersfield's PLANFORM project. GIPO is written in java and is a platform for creating planning domain models. It can be downloaded anonymously and FREE from its home page.

Getting Involved

Membership is open to any PLANET nodes interested in this area. Please contact the TCU chair Lee McCluskey if you would like to become involved.

This website was originally composed by Peter Jarvis, formerly of AIAI, now of Stanford Research Institute. It is maintained and has been updated by Lee McCluskey of the University of Huddersfield, UK.

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