Research Agenda


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Brief Research Statement

My research area is Artificial Intelligence with a focus on large-scale constraint-based reasoning and optimization. I exploit connections between different research areas --- in particular artificial intelligence, operations research, and the theory of algorithms. Central themes of my research are: (1) the synthesis of formal and experimental research for understanding and exploiting problem structure, (2) the integration of concepts from constraint reasoning and mathematical programming, and (3) the use of randomization techniques to scale up the performance of complete (exact) search methods . I combine formal analysis with the study of applications such as planning, scheduling, combinatorial design, and multi-agent systems. Recently, I have become deeply immersed in the establishment of new field of Computational Sustainability.

Computational Sustainability is a new interdisciplinary research field, with the overarching goal of studying and providing solutions to computational problems for balancing environmental, economic, and societal needs for a sustainable future. Such problems are unique in scale, impact, complexity, and richness, often involving combinatorial decisions, in highly dynamic and uncertain environments, offering challenges but also opportunities for the advancement of the state-of-the-art of computer and information science. Work in Computational Sustainability integrates in a unique way various areas within computer science and applied mathematics, such as constraint reasoning, optimization, learning, and dynamical systems. The research necessarily entails a cross-fertilization of approaches and ideas from several research communities, bringing together computer scientists, biologists and environmental scientists, biological and environmental engineers, sociologists, and economists. Concrete examples of computational sustainability challenges range from to planning and optimization for wildlife preservation and biodiversity conservation, to poverty mapping, to the design of intelligent or ”smart” control systems for energy-efficient buildings, to balancing portfolios of renewable energy sources.

In 2008, under the NSF Expeditions in Computing program, we created the Institute for Computational Sustainability (ICS) to forge a highly interdisciplinary effort to nurture the field of Computational Sustainability. Our vision is that computer science can --- and should --- play a key role in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the way we manage and allocate our natural resources. The plethora of challenging computational research questions posed by sustainability problems, pushing the boundaries of current computational methods, also provides an exciting way to broaden and advance the state-of-the-art of computer science.

Cornell Graduate Research Field Memberships

I'm a member of the following Cornell graduate research fields:

Computer Science
Information Science
Applied Mathematics
Applied Economics and Management
City and Regional Planning

Ph.D. Students

Bistra Dilkina (Computer Science)
Stefano Ermon (Computer Science)
Ronan Le Bras (Computer Science)
Eoin O'Mahony (Computer Science)
Maarika Teose (Applied Mathematics)
Yunsong Guo (Computer Science)

Current and Former Postdocs and Visitors

Theo Damoulas (2009- )
Carlos Ansotegui (2005, now at Lleida University, Spain)
Ramon Bejar (2003, now at Lleida University, Spain)
Carmel Domshlak (2003, now at Technion University, Israel)
Cesar Fernandez (2004, now at Lleida University, Spain)
Willem van Hoeve (2006-2008, now at CMU)
Ashish Sabharwal (2005-2010, now at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center)
Meinolf Sellmann (2004, now at Brown University)

Related links:

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)  NSF Science News - cool video!

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)  NSF Expeditions in Computing Award

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes) Computational Sustainability: Computational Methods for a Sustainable Environment, Economy, and Society. Carla Gomes.  The Bridge , National Academy of Engineering, Volume 39, Number 4, Winter 2009. PDF.

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes) Computational Sustainability.  Slides

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)The Science of Constraints. Invited talk at the Symposium on The Next 10 Years of CP, France, 2006. Slides.

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)The Science of Constraints.  Carla Gomes and Bart Selman.  Constraint Programming Letters. 2007. PDF

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes) Beyond Satisfiability: Model Counting, Quantification, and Randomization.  Slides

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)Model Counting: A New Strategy for Obtaining Good Bounds.  Carla Gomes, Ashish Sabharwal, and Bart Selman.  AAAI-06. Proceedings of the 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp 54-61, Boston, MA, Jul 2006. (Best Paper Award). PDF  Slides

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes) American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS) - Annual Meeting (2005):

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)Statistical Regimes Across Constrainedness Regions  Carla Gomes, Cesar Fernandez, Bart Selman, and Christian BessiereIn Proc. of  10th Conf. on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP-04) 2004.  Postscript  PDF SLIDES Distinguished Paper Award.

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)Approximations and Randomization to Boost CSP Technique.  Carla Gomes and David Shmoys.  Annals of Operations Research. Vol 130 (1), Aug. 2004, 117--141  PDF

Algorithm Portfolios.  Carla Gomes and Bart Selman. Artificial Intelligence Journal, Vol. 126,  2001, 43-62.  Postscript PDF

AAAI00 Invited Talk - Structure and Randomization: Common Themes in AI and OR

also presented at: Stanford University, NASA (Ames), SRI, and University of Lisbon
Power point presentation.
Zip file including power point presentation with videos, and demos

Heavy-Tailed Phenomena in Satisfiability and Constraint Satisfaction Problems.  Carla Gomes, Bart Selman, Nuno Crato, and Henry Kautz.  Journal of Automated Reasoning, Vol. 24(1/2), pages 67-100, 2000. PDF

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)Can Get Satisfaction.  Carla Gomes and Bart Selman.  Nature Vol. 435, June 9, 2005, 751--752. (News & Views article). PDF

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)  Check the Science News article by Ivars Peterson "Completing Latin Squares"

pr_ball.gif (238 bytes)  Science Daily (1999)  gives a journalistic view of Heavy-tailed phenomena.