We invite proposals for the International Conference on
Automated Planning and Scheduling 2021 (ICAPS 2021)
competition track to be held in Guangzhou, China. We solicit
competition proposals on any topic of interest to the Planning
& Scheduling community. We especially encourage competition
proposals from emerging fields or new application domains
related to Planning and Scheduling. Interdisciplinary topics
that will attract a significant cross-section of the community
are especially encouraged.
Participants will compete to obtain the best score on a
planning task of interest to the ICAPS community based on the
problem and data defined and released by the organizers of the
competition. Organizers for a certain challenge should define
the tasks specifically such that participants can build their
planning/scheduling models and/or their learning models based
on the task descriptions. Example challenge problems for
competitions are (but certainly not limited to):
Bicycle sharing: A bicycle-sharing system is a
service in which bicycles are made available for shared
use to individuals on a short term basis. Many bike share
systems allow people to borrow a bike from a "dock" and
return it at another dock belonging to the same system. To
reduce the loss of user demands on using bicycles in every
station, the system needs to make a plan to reschedule
bicycles among stations by predicting future use of
bicycles in each station. Considering there are many
constraints related to actions of repositioning bicycles,
solving tasks of repositioning bicycles with
(probabilistic) planning or scheduling models is likely to
improve the effectiveness and efficiency.
Smart dispatching: A smart-dispatching system is to
effectively and efficiently dispatch a service, e.g., a
driver in DIDI or Uber, to a passenger’s demand. The
system needs to consider the current locations of drivers
and passengers, the destinations of passengers, and the
current status of traffic. In this scenario, planning and
scheduling techniques could be adopted to improve the
efficiency of dispatching considering the complexity of
factors and the large scale of demands and supplies, and
exhibit explanations when confronting unexpected issues,
such as some clients waiting too long or lots of
Auto-driving Auto-driving needs to handle
complicated uncertain environments rapidly. Large-scale
observations from sensors often makes auto-driving systems
difficult to make accurate decisions efficiently.
Uncertain/Probabilistic planning and path planning could
be helpful for improving auto-driving systems.
Unmanned warehouse: Sorting packages in an unmanned
warehouse is a challenging planning task. It needs to
consider various packages in the same order and make
efficient routes for each order such that each order can
be delivered efficiently. It is possible to model the
package sorting problem as a planning or scheduling
problem and explore planning techniques to improve the
effectiveness and efficiency.
Chemical synthesis: Synthesizing small organic
molecules is a process of planning a series of reactions.
It is challenging to synthesize organic molecules of
high-quality with respect to some specific features,
considering the large scale of reactions and molecules.
Automated retrosynthesis or synthesis of molecules has
been an open problem for 50 years due to its scientific
importance in chemistry as well as its direct applications
to pharmaceutical and material industries.
There will be a competition track at ICAPS 2021, co-located
with the conference workshops, where competition results will
be presented and discussed. Competition organizers will be
asked to propose a tentative schedule for presentation of the
competition and its results during an assigned time slot;
ICAPS will provide coffee breaks and, if necessary, poster
For any additional questions please contact the ICAPS
The proposal should include at least five parts:
- 1. Detailed task description;
- 2. Comprehensive competition rules;
3. Description of environment or simulator, data, code,
and so on, and their readiness;
- 4. Deadlines;
- 5. Awards.
Please submit the proposal to both competition track chairs:
Tathagata Charkraboti (firstname.lastname@example.org
), Rong Pan (email@example.com
) and Jianye Hao (firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposers are also welcome to submit details of the task as
potential challenge problems to the ICAPS Applications Track.
Please consult the corresponding CFP for more details.
REVIEWING AND SELECTION PROCESS
A competition program committee will be formed, consisting of
experts on planning, learning and challenge organization. Each
proposal will be reviewed by at least three members of the
committee. The factors that will be considered when evaluating
Task: Impact, originality, relevance to the ICAPS
community will all be considered. Tasks that include
humanitarian and/or positive societal impact are
especially highly encouraged, although other topics
relevant to the ICAPS community will also be considered.
If humanitarian projects are submitted, the involvement of
the community in question is strongly desired, and
is strongly discouraged.
Protocol and Readiness: Feasibility of the task
chosen, soundness of the evaluation criteria, and clarity
and fairness of the competition rules will be considered.
The readiness of the competition in terms of data, code,
etc. will also be considered.
Logistics: Schedule, plan for attracting
competition participants, and experience and diversity of
the organizers will all be considered. The specific plan
for attracting participants of groups under-represented at
ICAPS will be considered.
Competition proposal submission deadline: Jan 26, 2021
- Acceptance notification: Jan 31, 2021
- Competition track: Jun 7-12, 2021
The reference timezone for all deadlines is UTC-12.
Competition organizers should propose a timeline for
running the competition to ensure that participants have
enough time to contribute high-quality entries. It is
recommended that competitions be completed by end of May,
2021 at the absolute latest.
Competition organizers that require help or suggestions
regarding competition platforms for running the
competition can contact the competition chairs for advice.
Tathagata Charkraboti (IBM Research AI)
Rong Pan (Sun Yat-Sen University)
Jianye Hao (Tianjin University)