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Matthijs Spaan


I am an assistant professor at the Algorithmics group, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.

I held a Marie Curie fellowship in the same group, and before I was a senior research scientist at the Institute for Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal. I have received a PhD degree in Computer Science (2006) and an MSc degree in Artificial Intelligence (2002), both from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My PhD thesis has been selected as runner-up for EURON's 7th Georges Giralt PhD Award.

Research overview

My research focuses on decision making under uncertainty for single agents (such as robots) as well as multiagent systems. A major goal of Artificial Intelligence is designing agents: systems that perceive their environment and execute actions. In particular, a fundamental question is how to build intelligent agents. When uncertainty and many agents are involved, this question is particularly challenging and has not yet been answered in a satisfactory way.

Uncertainty manifests itself in various forms when computing plans for agents, in particular in real-world scenarios involving robots. For an agent in isolation, planning under uncertainty in acting and sensing has been studied using decision-theoretic models like Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs). However single-agent, centralized methods do not suffice for large-scale multiagent systems, for which I study multiagent extensions such as the decentralized POMDP (Dec-POMDP) model.

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