Resources for Students

On this webpage I provide some resources which are hopefully helpful for some students. Well, and of course the idea is also to save me (and my co-supervisors) quite an amount of time since students often write a thesis report for the first time, so we end up explaining the same thing over and over again. So instead I provide some of this material here, I hope it's helpful!

Please let me know if some of it can be improved. :)

About Research Projects

There are several skills you need to master, e.g.,

  • Finding related research (papers)
  • Writing your report
  • Presenting your work

In particular the writing part is quite challenging for a beginner as there are conventions that need to be learned. Please consider:

  • This zip file for (1) a presentation on literature research, (2) on scientific writing, and (3) an example LaTeX thesis template to illustrate how to use citations).
  • My LaTeX slides template in case you want to prepare your presentation using LaTeX.

    Note that this design does formally not comply with the ANU style guides (cf. ANU templates) in the sense that it uses another corporate design (colors), but when you include the ANU graphics, the required "hard constraints" are fulfilled, so you should still be able to use it for ANU presentations (which I do, even for all my lectures). But as a student you really don't have to bother about this anyway. :)

Further Resources

Basics to get started with Planning

If you don't have any knowledge about planning at all, then start here, i.e., with classical planning, the base-case of planning. This is a planning problem class that's as simple as it could be. I.e., it uses basically zero extensions (no time, no hierarchy, no uncertainty, etc. etc.) -- perfect to get started!

Here are some recommendations for self-studying:

Basics to get started with HTN Planning

You do understand the basics of planning already? Great! Then you can move on studying Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning. :)

Some recommendations:

  • Start with our IJCAI survey paper from 2019 on HTN planning, since it is written for non-experts, i.e., without much technical content. Disregard all contents about HGN or GTN planning, i.e., read until (including) chapter 3.1.
  • After that, for more technical definitions, read the paper which introduced the simplistic HTN formalism, but only until section 2 (inclusive) to get the full technical definitions. If you know the basics of complexity theory, also read section 3.
  • By this point you should have understood the problem class of HTN planning, i.e., how is the problem defined, which includes which task networks are considered solutions and which are not. You should not be able to follow our tutorial on HTN planning, which explains all that in a bit more detail (though only slides are available) and also explains some search algorithms for solving such problems.
  • You may now read until (including) page 10 (Def. 4) of our JAIR 2020 article, after which you will understand the standard (progression) algorithm for solving HTN problems.