Key Info

Basic Information

Portrait: Univ.-Prof. Hector Geffner, Ph.D. © privat
Univ.-Prof. Hector Geffner, Ph.D.
Faculty / Institution:
Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences
Organizational Unit:
Computer Science 6: Machine Learning and Reasoning
Excellent Science
Project duration:
01.10.2020 to 30.09.2025
EU contribution:
2.498.625 euros
  EU flag and ERC logo This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 885107)  


From Data-based to Model-based AI: Representation Learning for Planning


Two of the main research threads in AI revolve around the development of data-based learners capable of inferring behavior and functions from experience and data, and model-based solvers capable of tackling well-defined but intractable models like SAT, classical planning, and Bayesian networks. Learners, and in particular deep learners, have achieved considerable success but result in black boxes that do not have the flexibility, transparency, and generality of their model-based counterparts. Solvers, on the other hand, require models which are hard to build by hand. RLeap is aimed at achieving an integration of learners and solvers in the context of planning by addressing and solving the problem of learning first-order planning representations from raw perceptions alone without using any prior symbolic knowledge. The ability to construct first-order symbolic representations and using them for expressing, communicating, achieving, and recognizing goals is a main component of human intelligence and a fundamental, open research problem in AI.  The success of RLeap requires the development of radically new ideas and methods that will build on those of a number of related areas that include planning,  learning, knowledge representation, combinatorial optimization and SAT. The approach to be pursued is based on a clear separation  between learning the  symbolic representations themselves, that is cast as a combinatorial problem,  and learning the interpretations of those representations, that is cast as a supervised learning problem from targets obtained from the first part. RLeap will address both problems, not just in the planning setting but in the generalized planning setting as well where plans are general strategies. The project can make a significant difference in how general, explainable, and trustworthy AI can be understood and achieved. The PI has made key contribution to the main themes of the project that make him uniquely qualified to carry it forward.

Additional Information

Prof. Geffner transferred the grant to RWTH Aachen University from his former Host Institution, Universidad Pompeu Fabra.


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