Dr Coles’ research is concerned with creating AI planning systems capable of reasoning with expressive world models. Planners are systems that perform the reasoning needed by intelligent systems to enable them to plan activities to achieve their goals. The environments in which such systems must operate are, however, complex and dynamic. This means that planners need to be capable of reasoning about many different things including unexpected events, time and deadlines, and quantities that change continuously over time e.g. solar charge or radiation exposure.
Dr Coles is the author of over 40 papers on AI planning and has developed several expressive AI planning systems, including POPF and OPTIC, which have been used around the world in applications, both by researchers at King's and elsewhere. In addition to her theoretical research, she has worked with collaborators on applications of planning to solve problems including voltage maintenance in power grids and global repositioning of ocean liners.
As further evidence of Dr Coles’ international reputation as a leading researcher, she has also been elected to the ICAPS executive council for a 3 year term starting June 2016. ICAPS, the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, is the leading global conference in this important area of AI.