[meetings] CFP: RSS 2017 Workshop: The What without the How: Specifying Planning Problems in Robotics

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[meetings] CFP: RSS 2017 Workshop: The What without the How: Specifying Planning Problems in Robotics

Vasu Raman
Call for Lightning Talks and Participation
Workshop date: July 15th 2017 (during RSS 2017)
Website: hyness.bu.edu/rss-tlzoo

Abstract submission deadline: May 15th 2017
Notification date: June 5th 2017
Final presentation submission: July 10th 2017

Workshop overview
Every new graduate student is told that when it comes to research, a good problem formulation is half the battle won. As the responsibilities we give to robots and autonomous vehicles become more complex by the day, the time is ripe to step back and redefine the basic blocks that define the planning problems we solve when creating “autonomy”. The classical piano-mover’s problem has dominated the motion planning literature for decades, and is still unsolved for many domains, but increasingly, planning problems involve responding to uncertainty, stochasticity, partial observability, unwieldy dynamics, and other challenges. Moreover, the “what” itself is evolving. Planning for long-term autonomy, collaborative and surveillance tasks have all motivated unique reformulations of the classical planning problem, including novel means of specifying desired behavior such as temporal logics and domain-specific languages, as well as natural language instructions. This workshop is an attempt to wrangle these disparate approaches and make some sense of the zoo of options. Participants will be treated to a breadth of current approaches from area experts, and encouraged to be critical of new modes of specification and the utility of the planning approaches that go therewith.

The first half of the workshop will feature a series of warm-up talks to expose attendees to the wide variety of problem formulations that are currently used to solve planning problems in robotics. Each speaker will have ~20 minutes (including questions) to describe a problem and its solution, with a focus on how the specification was crucial to the approach. Our invited speakers will speak to various aspects and flavors of the planning problem.

For the second half of the workshop, we are soliciting contributed lightning talks of ~5 min of the following format: propose two formulations of the same planning problem (i.e. with different specification languages/modes) and argue for one.

In the final 1.5 hours of the workshop, we will play an interactive game designed to demonstrate the non-triviality of well-specified planning problems. We will wrap up with an open discussion of lessons learned, via the game, as well as throughout the day.

Call for lightning talks
We solicit abstracts (~ 1 page) on specification of planning problems, the relationship between specification and planning, design choices, and challenges. To foster critical discussions, abstracts should consider a problem that can be formulated and solved in two different ways. Moreover, you should chose one formulation and argue for it. You should focus on what was specified, what was planned for, and the advantages and disadvantages. We ask that the abstract have the following format: 1) informal problem description; 2) formulation 1 and solution; 3) formulation 2 and solution; 4) argument for either design choice.

Abstracts should be sent by email to cvasile@mit.edu are due by May 15th 2017, with the subject "[RSS2017-SPR] Abstract submission".

Selected abstracts will be presented at the workshop PechaKucha-style: 15 slides over 5 minutes (20 seconds per slide). Final presentations must be submitted by July 10th 2017 in Powerpoint with normal (9:6) format.

Invited speakers
Prof. Calin Belta, Boston University, USA
Prof. Hadas Kress-Gazit, Cornell University, USA
Prof. Daniele Magazzeni, King’s College London, UK
Prof. Leslie Kaelbling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Prof. Stefanie Tellex, Brown University, USA
Dr. Andrea Censi, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Prof. George Konidaris, Brown University, USA
Prof. Mac Schwager, Stanford, USA
Prof. Erion Plaku, Catholic University of America, USA
Prof. Amy LaViers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Cristian-Ioan Vasile, MIT, USA
Vasu Raman, USA
Contact the organizers: cvasile@mit.edu, vasu@cds.caltech.edu

Important Dates
Workshop Date: Saturday July 15th 2017, Location: TBD
Abstract Submission Deadline: May 15th 2017
Acceptance Notifications: June 5th 2017
Presentation Submission Deadline: July 10th 2017

Tentative Schedule:
8:45 – 9:00 Welcome and Overview
9:00 – 10:30 Session 1: 4 talks
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 – 12:15 Session 2: 4 talks
12:00 – 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 – 14:45 Session 3: 2 talks
14:45 – 15:30 Lightning session:  8 talks
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 17:30 Interactive game