Adrian Pearce

School of Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Engineering
The University of Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, Australia
Tel: +61 3 8344 1399
Office: 6.20, Doug McDonell Building (Building 168), The University of Melbourne
Email: adrianrp [at]

Adrian Pearce

  UniMelb (Find an Expert page)   |   DBLP   |   Google Scholar  

Adrian is a researcher in 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 mining, trusted autonomous systems for cognitive robotics, supply chain management, logistics and air traffic management.

Together with his colleauges, Adrian has made fundamental breakthroughs which faciliate collaborative constraint and resource optimization for autonomous systems and over complex supply chain networks. This involves satifying constraints, such as resource or processing capacities, while meeting temporally extended goals, such as maintenance constraints.

More productive and profitable mine scheduling algorithms have been developed, and algorithms for cognitive robotics which facilitate improved human-robot interaction, by meeting both human and robot constraints, have also been developed for deploying trusted autonomous systems. Such optimisation and scheduling techniques are widely applicable, from investigating quantum error correction, to options analysis and financial trading.

Research Activities & Interests

Adrian is research leader of the AI and Autonomy Agent Lab, which forms part of the Melbourne information, decision and autonomous systems (MIDAS) group, at the University of Melbourne. His research interests include:

Automated planning and scheduling
Intelligent & autonomous systems
Discrete and continuous optimization
Mathematical programming
   Mine planning
Supply chain optimization & logistics
Constraint optimization
Multi-agent systems
   Reasoning about nested beliefs & theory of mind (ToM)
Trusted autonomous systems
Epistemic reasoning and nested beliefs
Reasoning about action and change

PhD applicants invited to apply - I presently have a range of exciting research opportunities for graduates to do their thesis funded by Melbourne University scholarships and DSI top-up scholarships, please contact me if your are interested in applying.
Research Fellowship - We are about to advertise for an additional research fellowship in automated planning and autonomy, watch this space.

Awards & Research Group News

Best PhD Award Toby Davies has been awarded the 2018 John Melvin Memorial Scholarship for the Best PhD Thesis in the Melbourne School of Engineering
Outstanding (Best) Paper Award, International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2015), Jerusalem for Sequencing Operator Counts, Toby Davies, Adrian R. Pearce, Peter J. Stuckey and Nir Lipovetzky
Sister Best Paper Track @ IJCAI, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-16), New York for Sequencing Operator Counts, Toby Davies, Adrian R. Pearce, Peter J. Stuckey and Nir Lipovetzky
"Trusted Autonomy" - Project Tyche - we have just commenced three projects under DST Groups Project Tyche Special Research Initiative (SRI) - (i) Survivability, Explainability and Distributed Adaptability in Autonomous Systems; (ii) Automated Reasoning Under Irreducible Uncertainty; and (iii) Autonomous Team Tactics Discovery with Automated Planning
"Open Pit Mining" Demo - our mine planning system has also been accepted for the Systems Demonstration Track at ICAPT 2015
"Short Term Scheduling Demo - our Short Term Scheduling in Open-Pit Mines with Multiple Objectives will be demonstrated at Industry Day at CP 2015
ICAPS Best Dissertation Award 2015 "Exploiting Relevance to Improve Robustness and Flexibility in Plan Generation and Execution" Dr. Christian Muise, Advisors Sheila McIlraith & Chris Beck
ICAPS Best Dissertation Award 2013, "Structure and Inference in Classical Planning", Dr. Nir Lipovetzky, Advisor Hector Geffner


Adrian Pearce's own Selected recent publications (always under construction), and at DBLP & Google Scholar

Conference Chair & Organisational roles

Program Track Chair, Operations Research Track, ICAPS 2018 (OR Track) (Delft)
Workshop Chair, Impedance Matching in Cognitive Partenrships @ IJCAI, CogPartner @ IJCAI-17 (Melbourne)
Advisory Committee, IJCAI-17 (Melbourne)
Publicity Chair, AAMAS 2018 (Stockholm)
Sponsorship Chair, ICAPS 2016 (London)
Doctoral Mentoring Consortium Chair, AAMAS 2015 (Istanbul)
Doctoral Consortium Chair, KR2014
Doctoral Consortium Chair, AAMAS 2011 (Taipei)
Organising Committee, AAMAS2003 (Melbourne)

Senior Program Committee (SPC)/Program Committee (PC)membership

IJCAI-19 (SPC) Maccao, China
Previous: IJCAI-ECAI-2018 (Stockholm) IJCAI-16 (SPC) (New York) IJCAI-15 (Buenos Aires); IJCAI-13 (Beijing);IJCAI-11 (Barcelona);IJCAI-09 (Pasadena)
ICAPS-2019 (PC) Berkeley, CA, USA
AAAI-19 (SPC) (Hawaii)
Previous: AAAI18 (SPC) (New Orleans); AAAI-16 (Phoenix, Arizona) AAAI-11 (San Francisco)
AAMAS 2019 (Montreal)
Previous: AAMAS 2018 (Stockholm) AAMAS 2016 (Singapore) AAMAS 2015 (Istanbul); AAMAS 2013 (Saint Paul, Minnesota); AAMAS 2012 (Valencia); AAMAS 2010 (Toronto)
KR2018 (Tempe, Arizona)
Previous: KR2016 (Cape Town) KR2014 (Vienna); KR2012 (Rome)

Australian Research Council (ARC) Grants, Research Contracts & Research Centre Establishment & Participation

Grant Period Project/Role Amount Researcher Fellows
2012-2015 (granted 2011) Making the Pilbara Blend: agile mine scheduling through contingent planning $1.36 million (ARC: $600,000;
Rio Tinto Iron Ore : $762,732) & $197,441 (The University of Melbourne)
Dr. Michelle Blom, Dr. Nir Lipovetzky & Dr. Christina Burt
ARC Discovery 2013-2015 Foundations of human-agent collaboration: situation-relevant information sharing $350,000 Dr. Christian Muise & Dr. Paolo Felli
ARC Discovery 2003-2007 Concept-based retrieval $671,330, inc. two years additional funding, part of
ARC Centre for Perceptive and Intelligent Machines in Complex Environments (PIMCE)
2000-2002 Enabelling intelligent agent behaviour in command support $156,533 (ARC: $78,183;
Thales Group (Australia) : $78,350)
Defence Science Institute
2011-Present Director, acting (Dec'14-Jan-15), University Collaboration
& Program Manager Autonomy and Surveillance
$5 million ($3+$2M), DSDBI , State Gov, $0.5+$1 million Universities, Victoria, $2.5+$2.5 million DST-G  
DST Group 2016- Tyche Special Research Initiative (SRI) on Trusted Autonomy: (i) Survivability, Explainability and Distributed Adaptability in Autonomous Systems; (ii) Automated Reasoning Under Irreducible Uncertainty; and (iii) Autonomous Team Tactics Discovery with Automated Planning $350,000, Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group Dr. Michelle Blom & Dr. Nir Lipovetzky
Data61 Optimisation Research Group 2005- Senior Researcher, Optimisation Research Group (2009-to-date) Australian Government &
Victorian Government (2005-2014)
Toby Davies & Chris Ewin

Postgraduate Candidates

Name Topic Period Main outcomes Employment Intern
Toby Davies Learning from Conflict in Multi-Agent, Classical, and Temporal Planning 2013-2017 ICAPS Outstanding Paper Award, ICAPSx2, AAMAS Google (formally Biarri) Google (twice)
Aleck MacNally Human-robot communication in automated planning 2016- ICAPS DC 2016    
Oliver Kim TBA 2016-      
Chris Ewin Online Multi-Agent Reasoning in Asynchronous Domains 2012- KR, Casual Tutor Award 2014   Microsoft (hackathon) & Apps@Melbourne
Adam Whiteside Classical Processing for Topological Quantum Error Correction 2013- Physical review letters (4 journal papers) Google Google
Dr. Michelle Blom Arguments and Actions: Decoupling Preference and Planning through Argumentation 2008-2011 INJOC, IJCAI, EUMASx2, STAIRS, AR-Golog programming language The University of Melbourne Rio Tinto Iron Ore
Dr. Ryan Kelly Asynchronous multi-agent reasoning in the situation calculus 2005-2008 . AIJx2, IJCAI, KR, AAMAS, IAT & MIndiGolog programming langauge & Nominated for CORE Australasian Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award & Chancellors Prize Mozilla Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC) & Cloud Matrix (co-founder)
Dr. Jian (Alan) Huang Collaborative logic programming via deductive-inductive resolution 2005-2008 IJCAI, AAAI, IAT   CollabLP programming language Fidessa, Hong Kong  
Dr. Michael Papasimeon Modelling Agent-Environment Interaction in Multi-Agent Simulations with Affordances 2002-2009 (part-time) AAMAS, AOIS, ASEC, PRIMA, HAVE multi-agent human-agent virtual environment Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
Dr. Don Perugini Agents for logistics: a provisional agreement approach 2003-2006 AAMAS, IATx2, CIMCA/IAWTIC EY (purchased Don's start-up ISD Analytics)
(iAward 2013 recipient)
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
Dr. Susannah Soon Multi-agent coordination: a graph-based approach to intention recognition 2003-2006 AAMASx2; Agents & Autonomy Thales Group & Curtin University   Thales Group
Dr. Yen-Ting Kuo Capturing domain knowledge for knowledge discovery 2008-2010 Applied Artificla Intelligence, Journal of Inf. Sci. Eng., The Visual Computer, ICONIP, Web Intelligence, Neurocomputing Delta Electronics, Inc., Taipei, Taiwan  
Dr. Peter Hebden Distributed asynchronous clustering for small-world properties & Bloom gradient routing for wireless sensor networks 2006-2009 IJIP, ICISIPx2, ISSNIP & NOSA sensor-network infrastructure University of Warwick  
Dr. Jian (Jenny)
Ying Zhang
Causation and Fuzzy Causal Networks 2001-2004 IEEE Transaction Fuzzy Systems, FUZZ-IEEE, Soft. Comput., WAIM Swinburne University of Technology  
Heung-Wing Law (MSc)
Focused Decomposition: multi-agent distributed constraint optimisation with linear communication 2006-2007 IAT & DistDecomp    

Recent Reviewing

Artificial Intellignece Journal (AIJ)
Journal of Artificial Intellignece Research (JAIR)
Journal of Logic Programming
Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems


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

Academic Teaching

ENG10003 Engineering Systems Design 2 (2010-2019)
COMP90054 AI Planning for Autonomy(2001-2016) (formally named Software Agents up to 2016)
COMP30019 Graphics and Computation (2001-2016)
COMP90057 Advance Theoretical Computer Science (2004) (formmaly named 330 Theory of computation in 2004)
COMP90048 Declarative Programming (2000-20001) (formally named 255 Logic and Computation)
343 Professional Issues in Computation (2000-2010)
257 Frontiers of Computer Science (2002)


PhD in Computer Science (APAI Postgraduate Award), Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia 1997
BSc (Hons - 1st class) in Computer Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia 1991


Adrian Pearce (Email: adrianrp [at]
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