Robert Holte.jpg

Robert Holte


Academic Affiliations

Professor Emeritus – University of Alberta (Computing Science)

Areas of Expertise

Artificial intelligence; heuristic search and planning

Heuristic search; experimental evaluation of classifiers created by machine learning

Robert Holte is a leading expert on heuristic search, including the use of abstraction to create heuristics, and bidirectional search, which can perform faster than the standard, unidirectional search. He works to enhance methodologies in single-agent heuristic search & planning, applying search to idealized versions of real-world combinatorial search problems. His research investigates automatic techniques for speeding up search, such as the automatic creation of search heuristics and the compilation of search problem definitions into highly efficient C code. Over the course of his career, Robert has produced publications on machine learning, abstraction and search, AI in games, network routing, combinatorial auctions, intelligent information access, among other disciplines. Robert has made two important contributions to machine learning. The first is the highly-cited OneR system, which is widely used as a baseline system in experimental studies. The second is the technique he developed with Chris Drummond -- called Cost Curves -- for evaluating binary classifiers when misclassification costs are unequal or one of the classes is much rarer than the other.

Robert is a Fellow at Amii, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta and one of four original founding researchers of Amii. He served as Vice Dean of UAlberta Faculty of Science from 2007 to 2013. Over his career, Robert has supervised more than 30 graduate students and has published 140 papers, which have received more than 11,000 citations. Robert was named a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in 2011, and he has served as the editor and executive editor of the Machine Learning Journal. He has also acted as an organizer and referee for numerous top-tier conferences including being the program co-chair for the 2007 AAAI conference. In 2016, Robert was awarded the Outstanding Paper Award from AAAI. In 2018 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Symposium on Combinatorial Search for his work on heuristic search, and in 2019 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association for his many contributions to the field.

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Articles by Robert Holte

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