Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Shlomo Zilberstein

Associate Dean of Research and Engagement & Professor
(413) 545-4189


Artificial intelligence, automated planning, decision theory, autonomous agents and multi-agent systems, resource-bounded reasoning, metacognition, heuristic search, combinatorial optimization, reinforcement learning.


Professor Zilberstein's research in artificial intelligence is focused on the computational foundations of automated reasoning and action. He studies the implications of uncertainty and limited computational resources on the design of autonomous agents. In most practical settings, it is not feasible to find optimal plans or actions, making it necessarily to resort to some form of approximate reasoning. This raises a simple fundamental question: what does it mean for an agent to be "rational" when it does not have enough knowledge or computational power to derive the best course of action? Professor Zilberstein's approach to this problem is based on probabilistic reasoning and decision-theoretic principles, used both to develop planning algorithms and to monitor their execution and maximize the value of computation. He has developed meta-level control mechanisms that reason explicitly about the cost of decision-making and can optimize the amount of deliberation (or "thinking") an agent does before taking action. This research spans both theoretical issues and the development of effective algorithms and applications. Zilberstein's most recent work has produced new models and algorithms to tackle these challenges in situations involving multiple decision makers operating in either collaborative or adversarial domains.


Ph.D. Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley (1993); B.A. Computer Science summa cum laude, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, (1981). Professor Zilberstein joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as Assistant Professor in 1993, and is currently Professor and the Director of the Resource-Bounded Reasoning Lab. Between 1981-87 he directed several research and development projects at IDF and Shalev Computers in Israel. He was a Visiting Professor at the Technion (Israel), and the University of Caen (France).

Activities & Awards

Professor Zilberstein is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. He is Associate Editor of the Artifical Intelligence Journal (AIJ), the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (JAAMAS) and member of the editorial board of Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence (AMAI). Zilberstein served as an elected Councilor of AAAI (2011-14) and President of ICAPS (2010-12), an organization that runs the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling. He has been Chair of the Conference Committee of AAAI between 2014-16. He was the Co-Chair of the 14th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling in 2004, Chair of the Program Committee of the 9th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics in 2006, and Co-Chair of the Program Committee of the 25th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling in 2015. He has served extensively on the program committees of numerous AI conferences and workshops, including IJCAI, AAAI, AAMAS, ICAPS, UAI and ECAI. Zilberstein is a recipient of Best Paper Awards from the ECAI (1998), AAMAS (2003), IAT (2005), and ICAPS (2010). He is a recipient of National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award (1994), CAREER Award (1996), and ITR Award (2002). He received a Lady Davis Fellowship in 2000-01.