POMDP Practitioners Workshop: solving real-world POMDP problems

Workshop at ICAPS 2010, co-located with AAMAS 2010

May 12, 2010
Toronto, Canada

Invited speakers

The following invited speakers have been confirmed:


08:25 - 08:30Introduction
08:30 - 09:15Invited Talk: Milos Hauskrecht (slides). Modeling and optimizing patient-management processes with POMDPs
09:15 - 09:30Short Talk: Park, Kim and Jo. A POMDP Approach to P300 Brain-Computer Interfaces
09:30 - 09:45Short Talk: Meuleau, Plaunt, Smith and Smith. A POMDP for Optimal Motion Planning with Uncertain Dynamics
09:45 - 10:30Invited Talk: Jesse Hoey (PDF of presentation). People, Sensors, Decisions: Customizable and Adaptive Technologies for Assistance in Healthcare
10:30 - 10:45Coffee break
10:45 - 11:15Poster Spotlights for first poster session.
11:15 - 12:30Poster Session 1: Park, Meuleau, Erez, Ardakanian, Zhang, Spaan, Reyes, Atrash
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 14:45Invited Talk: Emma Brunskill (tar.gz with slides and videos). Tractable, Approximate POMDP Planning for Robotics
14:45 - 15:30Invited Talk: Jason Williams (slides). Spoken dialog systems as an application of POMDPs
15:30 - 15:45Coffee break
15:45 - 16:15Poster Spotlights for second poster session.
16:15 - 17:15Poster Session 2: Shani, Shani, Theocharous, Du, Zia Khan, Van Gerven, Hoey, Marthi
17:15 - 17:45Discussion session. Moderator: Joelle Pineau. Notes of the discussion, including list of available POMDP software.

Accepted contributions

Tom Erez and William D. Smart A Scalable Method for Solving High-Dimensional Continuous POMDPs Using Local Approximation
Bhaskara Marthi Navigation in Partially Observed Dynamic Roadmaps
Jaeyoung Park, Kee-Eung Kim and Sungho Jo A POMDP Approach to P300 Brain-Computer Interfaces
Shiqi Zhang and Mohan Sridharan Visual-based Scene Analysis on Mobile Robots using Layered POMDPs
Yanzhu Du, David Hsu, Hanna Kurniawati, Wee Sun Lee, Sylvie C. W. Ong and Shao Wei Png A POMDP Approach to Robot Motion Planning under Uncertainty
Jesse Hoey, Andrew Monk and Alex Mihailidis People, Sensors, Decisions: Customizable and Adaptive Technologies for Assistance in Healthcare
Marcel A. J. van Gerven and Francisco J Díez A Markovian Model for Carcinoid Tumors
Omar Zia Khan, Pascal Poupart and John Mark Agosta Refining Diagnostic POMDPs with User Feedback
Omid Ardakanian and Srinivasan Keshav Using Decision Making to Improve Energy Efficiency of Buildings
Matthijs Spaan and Pedro Lima Decision-theoretic Planning under Uncertainty for Active Cooperative Perception
Nicolas Meuleau and David Smith A POMDP for Optimal Motion Planning with Uncertain Dynamics
Georgios Theocharous, Nicholas Butko and Matthai Philipose Designing a Mathematical Manipulatives Tutoring System Using POMDPs
Alberto Reyes Ballesteros and Matthijs Spaan Towards a POMDP-based Intelligent Assistant for Power Plants
Amin Atrash and Joelle Pineau A Bayesian Method for Learning POMDP Observation Parameters for Robot Interaction Management Systems
Guy Shani Augmenting Appearance-Based Localization and Navigation using Belief Update (to appear at AAMAS2010)
Guy Shani Improving Existing Fault Recovery Policies (appeared at NIPS22)

Workshop Description

Over the past decade, much advancement was achieved in the field of decision-theoretic planning under sensing and actuation uncertainty, i.e., Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs). The size of domains that POMDP solvers can handle has increased by orders of magnitude. Solvers developed ten years ago were hardly able to handle more than 10 states, while modern solvers scale up to models with millions of states.

The advances in scalable POMDP algorithms have opened the door to many POMDP applications. Many researchers have successfully applied POMDPs to their problems, for instance using off-the-shelf software. Many more acknowledge the applicability of POMDPs to their problems.

This workshop is intended to bring together POMDP practitioners with researchers developing POMDP algorithms. Thus, we hope to help practitioners to overcome the difficulties in adopting POMDPs to their domains, as well as point researchers to the real world challenges.

Some of the questions this workshop will address are:

  • Which application domains have successfully adopted POMDPs?
  • In which domains POMDPs could be applied in the future?
  • What are the crucial components of a problem that make it amenable (and worthwhile) to a POMDP treatment?
  • What off-the-shelf software is currently available?
  • How can we tackle modeling questions (e.g., design by hand, learn from data)?
  • How easy is it for non-experts to map a desired goal task into a reward-cost model representation?
  • How can we map planning and scheduling problems to POMDPs?
  • What type of structure is required by current solvers to scale up to real-world problems?
  • What types of approximations are acceptable in real-world problems?

Workshop format

The workshop will consist of a short POMDP tutorial, covering POMDP basics as well as several key developments in POMDP solvers. Then, we will present several invited speakers who will discuss case studies of POMDP applications. The workshop will also contain talks and posters presenting unsolved or partially solved case studies.

A significant amount of time will be dedicated for informal and in-depth discussion between POMDP researchers and practitioners during a poster session.

Call for Contributions

We invite researchers to submit papers in the standard ICAPS 2010 format (8 page limit). We welcome new and previously published papers on POMDP applications.

We invite demonstrations of POMDP applications, or applications where a POMDP would make a valuable addition. For this venue, please submit a 2-page description of the application and the demonstration.

We also solicit brief (2-page) position statements / extended abstracts, that discuss the challenges of POMDP applications or the merits of applying POMDPs to specific applications.

All submissions will either be presented orally and/or as a poster, depending on scheduling constraints. Submission deadline is March 5, 2010 (moved from Feb 15, ICAPS schedule was bumped), and should be submitted via EasyChair.

Organizing Committee