Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Shlomo Zilberstein

Professor, on leave Spring 2024
(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 necessary 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 is recipient of the University of Massachusetts Chancellor's Medal (2019), the IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award (2019), the AAAI Distinguished Service Award (2019), National Science Foundation RIA Award (1994) and CAREER Award (1996), and the Israel Defense Prize (1992). He received Best Paper Awards from ECAI (1998), AAMAS (2003), IAT (2005), MSDM (2008), ICAPS (2010), and AAAI (2017 Computational Sustainability Track), and the Lady Davis Visiting Professorship at the Technion (2000). He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, Associate Editor of Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Multi-Agent Systems, and Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. He served as Chair of the Conference Committee of the AAAI Conference (AAAI-17, AAAI-16, AAAI-15), Program Chair of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS-15, ICAPS-04), and Program Chair of the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics (ISAIM-06). He has served on numerous boards and award committees, as Chairman of the AI Access Foundation, President of ICAPS (2010-12), and an elected Councilor of AAAI (2011-14).