Hierarchical Planning (HPlan)

The motivation for using hierarchical planning formalisms is manifold. It ranges from an explicit and predefined guidance of the plan generation process and the ability to represent complex problem solving and behavior patterns to the option of having different abstraction layers when communicating with a human user or when planning co-operatively. The best-known formalism in the field is Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning. In addition, there are several other hierarchical planning formalisms, e.g., hybrid planning (incorporating aspects from POCL planning), Hierarchical Goal Network (HGN) planning (incorporating a hierarchy on goals), or formalisms that combine task hierarchies with timeline planning (e.g. ANML). Hierarchies induce fundamental differences from classical planning, creating distinct computational properties and requiring separate algorithms from non-hierarchical planners. Many of these aspects of hierarchical planning are still unexplored. Thus, we encourage any contribution, independent of the underlying hierarchical planning formalism, and want to provide a forum for researchers to discuss the various aspects of hierarchical planning.


Topics of interests include but are not limited to:

  • theoretical foundations, e.g., complexity results
  • heuristics, search, and other solving techniques for plan generation
  • techniques and foundations for providing modeling support
  • challenges and lessons learned from modeling systems (using hierarchical models)
  • applications of hierarchical planning
  • plan explanation for hierarchical models
  • hierarchical plan repair techniques
  • techniques for verifying solutions of hierarchical planning problems

Important Dates

Since ICAPS has been postponed we re-opened for new submissions until further notice. We’ll update this page once we know more. Until then you can also reach out to us organizers.

  • Submission deadline: March, 7th July, 20th (extended!)
  • Notification of acceptance: April, 4th August, 14th (extended)
  • Camera-ready paper: September, 30th

We encourage the submission of papers that are, at the time of submission, currently under review at IJCAI 2020 or SoCS 2020. In case such a double submission gets both accepted at IJCAI/SoCS and at the workshop, the camera-ready paper for the workshop might be the same as for IJCAI/SoCS or a (new) extended abstract of this paper of at most two pages including references (authors’ choice).

Submission Instructions

The formatting guidelines are the same as for ICAPS 2020 (link to authorkit: https://www.aaai.org/Publications/Templates/AuthorKit20.zip). Authors may submit long papers (up to 8 pages plus up to one page of references) or short papers (up to 4 pages plus up to one page of references). In case of acceptance, the full 5, resp. 9, pages can be used for the paper, e.g. to address the reviewers’ comments.

Like at the main conference, there will be a high quality double-blind review process against the standard ICAPS criteria of significance, soundness, scholarship, clarity, and reproducibility. However, submissions may be less evolved than at the main conference.

In addition to standard technical papers we also encourage the submission of position/challenge papers (which have to be short papers) that can report on preliminary results, some initial ideas on how to tackle a problem, or simply describe an interesting problem itself that’s related to hierarchical planning. The main idea behind this category is the possibility to exchange ideas and foster discussion at the workshop — not to present some significant contribution.

The submission system is now open: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=hplan2020

Invited Talk

Robert Goldman will give an invited talk. Details will follow.

Program Committee

Ron Alford,
Roman Bartak,
Gregor Behnke,
Pascal Bercher,
Susanne Biundo,
Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera,
Rafael C. Cardoso,
Kutluhan Erol,
Christopher Geib,
Florian Geißer
Patrik Haslum,
Daniel Höller,
Dana Nau,
Conny Olz,
Sunandita Patra,
Mak Roberts,
Vikas Shivashankar,
Julia Wichlacz,
Zhanhao Xiao

Do you want to support us by joining the PC board this or in one of the following years? Email us!


Pascal Bercher, https://cecs.anu.edu.au/people/pascal-bercher
Daniel Höller, http://fai.cs.uni-saarland.de/hoeller/index.html
Roman Bartak, http://ktiml.mff.cuni.cz/~bartak
Ron Alford, http://www.volus.net/
(Click on a person’s name to get their email address.)