Adrian Pearce

School of Computing and Information Systems
Faculty of Engineering and IT
The University of Melbourne
Phone: +61 3 8344 1399
Office: 3108, Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston St., Carlton, Victoria, 3010
Email: adrianrp (at)

Adrian Pearce

  LinkedIn   |   UniMelb profile   |   ORCID iD iconOrcid Id   |   DBLP   |   Google Scholar

Research Activities & Interests

Adrian Pearce is a Professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. He conducts research in automated planning and scheduling and he has contributed deeply in research on reasoning about actions within the field of artificial intelligence. His research has improved the efficiency and robustness of a range of applications including production scheduling for manufacture, cognitive robotics for trusted autonomous systems and multi-agent systems, supply chain logistics for sustainable resources, and improved decision making for autonomous analysts. Adrian is a member of the AI and Autonomy Agent Lab, part of the Artificial Intelligence group in the School.

Together with his colleagues, Adrian has made fundamental breakthroughs which facilitate collaborative constraint and resource optimisation for autonomous systems over complex supply chain networks. This involves satisfying constraints, such as resource or processing capacities, while meeting temporally extended goals, such as maintenance constraints. More productive and sustainable manufacturing and scheduling algorithms have resulted. Algorithms for cognitive robotics and decision making for autonomous analysts have also been developed which facilitate improved human-robot interaction, meeting both human constraints (faster than human thought, nested reasoning) and robot constraints (dealing with irreducible uncertainty and incompleteness). His research interests include

  • Reasoning about action and change (the situation calculus, classical planning, generalized planning & reinforcement learning)
  • Strategy synthesis (game structures - linear temporal logic & mu calculus)
  • Introspective reasoning (theory of mind (ToM) reasoning - epistemic logic with nested beliefs)
  • Contextual reasoning and ontology adaptation (constructive mathematics - intuitionistic logic, higher order type theory)
  • Discrete and continuous optimization (mathematical programming - dual decomposition, MIP & SAT)

    Adrian Pearce's Recent Publications are also available at DBLP, Google Scholar & Orcid Id.

    PhD applications: I presently have a range of exciting research opportunities for graduates to do their thesis funded by Melbourne University scholarships, please contact me if your are interested in applying.


    Prof. Pearce completed a BSc (Hons. first class) in Computer Science at The University of Melbourne and a PhD in Computer Science (APAI Award) at Curtin University in Perth. He completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship before joining Curtin University as a Lecturer. He has been at the University of Melbourne since 2000 where he is presently a Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems and the Deputy Head of School (Engagement). He received the Erasmus Mundus Academc Scholar Award in 2014 and was Visiting Academic at Free University of Bosen Bolzano in 2014 and Sapienza University of Rome in 2009 and 2014. He received Outstanding (Best Paper) award at the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) in 2015. He regularly serves on the Senior Program Committees of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS), the International Conference on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR), the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS).

    Conference Chair roles

    Program Track Chair, Operations Research Track, ICAPS 2018 (OR Track) (Delft)
    Workshop Chair, Impedance Matching in Cognitive Partenrships @ IJCAI, CogPartner @ IJCAI-17 (Melbourne)
    Doctoral Mentoring Consortium Chair, AAMAS 2015 (Istanbul)
    Doctoral Consortium Chair, KR2014 (Vienna, part of Vienna Summer of Logic)
    Doctoral Consortium Chair, AAMAS 2011 (Taipei)

    Senior Program Committee (SPC) & PC membership

    IJCAI-21 Senior Program Committee (SPC) Montreal, Canada

    Previous: IJCAI-PRICAI 20 Senior Program Committee (SPC) Yokohama, Japan; IJCAI-19 (SPC) (Maccao, China); IJCAI-ECAI-2018 (Stockholm); IJCAI-16 (SPC) (New York) IJCAI-15 (Buenos Aires); IJCAI-13 (Beijing);IJCAI-11 (Barcelona);IJCAI-09 (Pasadena)

    ICAPS-2021 (PC) Guangzhou, China

    Previous: ICAPS-2020 (PC) Nancy, France; ICAPS-2019 (PC) Berkeley, CA, USA

    AAAI-22 Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Previous: AAAI-21 Virtual Conference; AAAI-19 (SPC) (Hawaii); AAAI18 (SPC) (New Orleans); AAAI-16 (Phoenix, Arizona) AAAI-11 (San Francisco)

    KR2021 (Hanoi, Vietnam)

    Previous: KR2020 (Rhodes, Greece) KR2018 (Tempe, Arizona); KR2016 (Cape Town) KR2014 (Vienna); KR2012 (Rome)

    AAMAS 2019 (Montreal)

    Previous: AAMAS 2018 (Stockholm) AAMAS 2016 (Singapore) AAMAS 2015 (Istanbul); AAMAS 2013 (Saint Paul, Minnesota); AAMAS 2012 (Valencia); AAMAS 2010 (Toronto);

    Participation in Research Projects—ARC Grants, Centres & Research Contracts as Chief Investigator (CI)

    Below is a table of some of the current and past research projects. For a detailed list of my funded research projects, grants and contracts please visit my Orcid Id under 'funding'.

    Current Project
    ARC ITTC ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) for Optimisation Technologies, Integrated Methodologies, and Applications (OPTIMA)
    DST Group Foundations and analysis of AI enabled gaming - Non-monotonic ontology adaptation.
    FBI-CRC Future Battery Industries FBI-CRC - UniMelb Point of Contact (POC) & Super anode project (CI)
    ARC Discovery Foundations of human-agent collaboration: situation-relevant information sharing
    ARC Discovery Concept-based retrieval
    ARC Linkage Making the Pilbara blend: agile mine scheduling through contingent planning
    ARC Linkage Enabelling intelligent agent behaviour in command support
    ARC COE Centre of Excellence for Intelligent and Perceptive Machines in Complex Environments (PIMCE)
    DST Group
    research contracts
  • Survivability, Explainability & Distributed Adaptability in Autonomous Systems
  • Automated Reasoning Under Irreducible Uncertainty
  • Autonomous Team Tactics Discovery with Automated Planning
  • Situation description language (SDL) Tool (used in multi-agent simulations)
  • Agent based logistics (review)
  • Multi agent C2 systems (review)
  • Agents as representation for the description, operationalisation of socio-technical systems (review)
  • data61 (NICTA) Optimisation group (CI) & Associate Director Graduate Education (Victoria)

    Postgraduate Candidates

    Current Topic Destination
    Archana Vadakattu Strategy transfer in AI agents  
    Kevin McDonald Improving the design and implementation of reinforcement learning algorithms for team-based systems  
    Lyndon Benke Deceptive planning in multiagent environments  
    Stefan O'Toole Learning action models  
    Oliver Kim Task planning in mobile robots using common sense as a generative model  
    Toby Davies Learning from Conflict in Multi-Agent, Classical, and Temporal Planning Senior Software Engineer, Google, Paris
    Chris Ewin Online Multi-Agent Reasoning in Asynchronous Domains Lecturer, The University of Melbourne
    Adam Whiteside Classical Processing for Topological Quantum Error Correction Senior Software Engineer, Google, USA
    Michelle Blom Arguments and Actions: Decoupling Preference and Planning through Argumentation Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
    Ryan Kelly Asynchronous multi-agent reasoning in the situation calculus Senior Staff Software Engineer,; Mozilla
    Jian (Alan) Huang Collaborative logic programming via deductive-inductive resolution Development Manager, Algorithmic Trading, Fidessa
    Michael Papasimeon Modelling Agent-Environment Interaction in Multi-Agent Simulations with Affordances Senior Research Scientist, DST Group
    Don Perugini Agents for logistics: a provisional agreement approach Co-Founder, Presagen: AI enhanced healthcare, San Francisco
    Susannah Soon Multi-agent coordination: a graph-based approach to intention recognition Research Fellow, Curtin University
    Yen-Ting Kuo Capturing domain knowledge for knowledge discovery Principal Researcher at Neutec Software Inc.
    Peter Hebden Distributed asynchronous clustering for small-world properties & Bloom gradient routing for wireless sensor networks Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University College London
    Jian (Jenny) Ying Zhang Causation and Fuzzy Causal Networks Senior Research Fellow, Monash University & Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology
    Heung-Wing Law
    Focused Decomposition: multi-agent distributed constraint optimisation with linear communication Software Architect, TVB New Media Group

    Recent Reviewing

    Artificial Intellignece Journal (AIJ)


    Member, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
    Member, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Member, IEEE Computer Society
    Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    Senior Member, Australian Computer Society

    Present Teaching

    AI Planning for Autonomy
    Elements of Quantum Computing

    Former Teaching

    Software Agents
    COMP90057 Advance Theoretical Computer Science
    COMP90048 Declarative Programming
    COMP30019 Graphics and Computation
    ENG10003 Engineering Systems Design 2


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