Hector Geffner

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Engineering Sciences

Hector was born in Buenos Aires in 1959, did his BS in Caracas, Venezuela, and got his PhD in Computer Science at UCLA. He is a fellow of the American and European Associations for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI, ECCAI), former associate editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR) and the Artificial Intelligence Journal (AIJ), and member of the European AI Board (EurAI).  He taught at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Aachen University of Technology, Linkoping University, Stanford University, Université Paul Sabatier, and King's College, among other places. He joined ICREA and the UPF in 2001, where he is a Professor in the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC). He teaches courses on logic, artificial intelligence, and more recently, on social and technological change.

Research interests

Hector works on planning  in intelligent systems, developing methods for generating and recognizing autonomous behavior automatically using model-based methods. In these methods, agents are not programmed by hand but derive their behavior automatically by solving a model of the interaction between the agent, their goals, and the environment. The challenge is mainly computational as the formulation of methods for deriving the right behavior effectively when the models are large is computationally intractable in the worst case. The work involves theory based on logic, probabilities, heuristics, and algorithms, and computational experiments. The research is relevant to both artificial intelligence and cognitive science, as it aims to uncover general principles of intelligent behavior that take into account the computational constraints that are present in both natural and artificial systems.

Selected publications

- Geffner H 2018, 'Model-free, Model-based, and General Intelligence'. Proc. Int. Joint Conf. on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), pp 10-17.

- Bandres W, Bonet B & Geffner H 2018, 'Planning with Pixels in (Almost) Real Time'. Proc. AAAI, pp. 6102-6109    

- Bonet B & Geffner H 2018, 'Features, Projections, and Representation Change for Generalized Planning'Proc. Int. Joint Conf. on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), pp 4667-4673, 2018

- Geffner T & Geffner H 2018, 'Compact Policies for Fully-Observable Non-Deterministic Planning as SAT'. Proc. Int. Conf. on Planning Systems (ICAPS), pp 88-96. AAAI Press.

Selected research activities

- Keynote speaker, 2018 Int. Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), Stockholm, 7/2018. 

- Invited Professor, La Sapienza, Università di Roma, 9-12/2018