Don’t Treat the Symptom, Find the Cause! Efficient AI Methods for (Interactive) Debugging

October 25, 2022 | 09:00 – 11:00 am (CET) | HS 11 | Patrick Rodler | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

Abstract: In the modern world, we are permanently using, leveraging, interacting with, and relying upon systems of ever higher sophistication, ranging from our cars, recommender systems in eCommerce, and networks when we go online, to integrated circuits when using our PCs and smartphones, security-critical software when accessing our bank accounts, and spreadsheets for financial planning and decision making. The complexity of these systems coupled with our high dependency on them implies both a non-negligible likelihood of system failures, and a high potential that such failures have significant negative effects on our everyday life. For that reason, it is a vital requirement to keep the harm of emerging failures to a minimum, which means minimizing the system downtime as well as the cost of system repair. This is where model-based diagnosis comes into play.

Model-based diagnosis is a principled, domain-independent approach that can be generally applied to troubleshoot systems of a wide variety of types, including all the ones mentioned above. It exploits and orchestrates techniques for knowledge representation, automated reasoning, heuristic problem solving, intelligent search, learning, stochastics, statistics, decision making under uncertainty, as well as combinatorics and set theory to detect, localize, and fix faults in abnormally behaving systems.   

In this talk, we will give an introduction to the topic of model-based diagnosis, point out the major challenges in the field, and discuss a selection of approaches from our research addressing these challenges. For instance, we will present methods for the optimization of the time and memory performance of diagnosis systems, show efficient techniques for a semi-automatic debugging by interacting with a user or expert, and demonstrate how our algorithms can be effectively leveraged in important application domains such as scheduling or the Semantic Web.

Bio: Patrick Rodler is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity (AICS), University of Klagenfurt. He holds MSc degrees in Technical Mathematics and Computer Science, and received his PhD degree in Computer Science in 2015 from the University of Klagenfurt. As a researcher, he co-authored more than 50 papers, published in prestigious journals such as Web Semantics, Knowledge-Based Systems, Artificial Intelligence, or Information Sciences, and gave 30 talks at renowned venues such as the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI), or the Int’l Conference on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR). As a teacher, he was responsible for 26 university courses and lectures, and in 2018 he was awarded a university-wide prize for excellent teaching by the University of Klagenfurt. His research interests include artificial intelligence in general, and model-based diagnosis, intelligent search, heuristic problem solving, as well as knowledge representation and reasoning in particular.

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