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SoCS 2015 : International Symposium on Combinatorial Search


Conference Series : Symposium on Combinatorial Search
When Jun 11, 2015 - Jun 13, 2015
Where Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea (Israel)
Submission Deadline Mar 9, 2015
Notification Due Apr 7, 2015
Final Version Due May 1, 2015
Categories    heuristic search   artificial intelligence

Call For Papers


SoCS-15: the 8th International Symposium on Combinatorial Search

Ein Gedi, Israel, 11-13 June 2015 (co-located with ICAPS-2015, including a joint session)

Web site:

Submission web site:

Submission deadline: Mar 9, 2015

2.5 weeks to the SoCS deadline! (March 9)

Important Reminder: you can submit a paper that was accepted elsewhere to the "previously accepted papers" track (see details below)

Heuristic search and other forms of combinatorial search are currently very active areas of research in artificial intelligence, planning, robotics, constraint programming, operations research, bioinformatics, and other areas of computer science. SoCS-15 is the 8th installment of the International Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SoCS), which is meant to bring researchers from these areas together to exchange their ideas and cross-fertilize the field. SoCS-15 has traditionally collocated with one of the major AI conferences such as AAAI, IJCAI, and ECAI.
This year, SoCS will collocate with the International Conference on Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS). SoCS-15 will start in a joint session with ICAPS-15 (see in Jerusalem on Thursday, June 11, including a joint invited talk by Prof. Stuart Russell. Following the joint session, we will travel to the main SoCS-15 venue in Ein Gedi - a Kibutz that lies on the shore of the Dead sea, the world's lowest altitude on land. SoCS-15 will conclude in the afternoon of June 13, 2015.


Previous SoCS events have provided a special focus on big data (2014), graph search engineering (2013), grid-based path planning (2012), search in robotics (2011), and automated planning (2010). This year, SoCS specifically invites submissions on meta-reasoning for heuristic search. As part of this special scope we will hold a panel on meta-reasoning for search. The exact panelists are not settled yet but we do know that it will include Prof. Stuart Russell and will be moderated by Prof. Wheeler Ruml, so it is bound to be exciting!


IJCAI-15 and SoCS-15 will have some overlap in their submission cycle. Authors of papers submitted to IJCAI-15 will have the option to also submit their papers to SoCS either as an extended abstract (2 pages) or, in case the paper gets rejected from IJCAI, as a regular paper (up to 8 pages). This will take place in a fast reviewing process after the IJCAI notification date. We will base our decisions on the IJCAI reviews and a cover letter written by the authors. Exact instructions will be posted later in our website.


We kindly received support from local governmental sources to host SoCS-15 in Israel. Therefore, SoCS-15 will have the following registration fee:
$500 for regular attendees, and
$350 for students.
The registration fee includes transportation, meals, accommodation (based on a shared basic room) and all other activities. Upgrade for a better room and/or single rooms will be available for extra an fee. In addition, SoCS attendees who did not register to ICAPS might choose to already arrive on Wednesday night (June 10). They will have the opportunity to book a hotel in any the of ICAPS hotels for the same rate of ICAPS participants. In addition, the ICAPS chairs invite all SoCS participants to join the ICAPS banquet on Wednesday night (an additional fee will be charged). More information will be published closer to the event.
Those attending both SoCS and ICAPS will get a discount in the total registration fee for both conferences.


We are going to offer further financial support to students based on available funds. Students attending both ICAPS and SoCS should apply to both venues for support. They will get more help than students attending only one of the conferences. More information will be published later in our website.


There has been a shortage of comparisons between existing work in grid-based path planning. The Grid-Based Path Planning Competition (GPPC), which started in 2012, aims at providing a meaningful comparison of existing approaches that was previously unavailable. The proceedings of SoCS-15 will feature an invited paper and an invited talk describing the results of the GPPC-14 ( The competition chair, Prof. Nathan Sturtevant, will co-author the invited paper with the competition entrants.


The social event in SoCS-15 will be a guided tour of Masada, an ancient fortification situated on top of an isolated rocky plateau that dates back to the 1st century BC. See for details on Masada.
For those who are interested Prof. Ariel Felner (8th generation Jerusalemite) will organize an informal tour of Jerusalem on Sunday, after SoCS (June 4th).


We have the pleasure to announce this year's distinguished invited speakers.

1. Prof. Stuart Russell from UC Berkeley, which among many other contributions to AI has authored seminal papers on rational meta-reasoning and is the co-author of *the* AI text book "AI: A Modern Approach". He is also the recipient of the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, an ACM and a AAAI fellow. For more details see

2. Prof. Maxim Likhachev from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), who has written numerous papers on using heuristic search techniques on real robots, including an RSS (the top venue in robotics) best paper award, and is also well known for his influential work on anytime and adaptive search. For more details see


Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

- Analysis of search algorithms
- Search focus in goal-directed problem solving
- Time, memory, and solution quality trade-offs
- Meta-reasoning and search
- Methodology and critiques of current practice
- Random vs. systematic search strategy selection
- Portfolios of search algorithms
- External-memory and parallel search
- Incremental and active learning in search
- Search space discretization for continuous state-space problems
- Self-configuring and self-tuning algorithms
- Real-time search
- Symmetry handling
- Search in Big Data
- Constraint search
- Model-based search
- Bounding and pruning techniques for search algorithms
- Combinatorial puzzles
- Continuous problem solving


Papers should be submitted to the SoCS 2015 EasyChair installment, available at

All submissions must be formatted in AAAI style, available at

Researchers can submit to the following two tracks: (1) original research papers (2) papers that were recently published/accepted to other venues.


We welcome technical papers that report on substantial original research as well as position papers discussing ideas and concepts related to search. Examples of position papers could include thoughtful critiques of the field, historical perspectives and analysis, technical discussions of various implementation techniques, methodological contributions, and insightful reports on new and demanding applications.

Original papers can be submitted in one of the following three formats:

a) long papers: up to 8 pages + an additional page for references.
b) short papers: up to 4 pages + an additional page for references.
c) extended abstracts: 2 pages including references.

Short papers may be of narrower scope, for example by addressing a highly specific issue, or presenting a small, yet important result. Publication of an extended abstract in the SoCS-15 proceedings generally allows publishing a full paper on the same line of research at SoCS or other venues. Original papers (in all formats) will be carefully peer-reviewed by at least three reviewers.

We are going to follow a double-blind reviewing process for original papers. Therefore, original submissions should omit the authors names and affiliations.


In order to foster the exchange of ideas at SoCS, we encourage authors to submit papers describing new research which has been reported in other venues in the last year. Papers that have been accepted for publication at another venue but are not yet officially published can also be submitted in this category. Papers in this category will not be part of the SoCS proceedings and there is no restriction on format or length. Alternatively, authors in this track may choose to submit a short (up to 2 pages) extended abstract version of their previously published paper, in which case we will add this abstract to the proceedings (unless requested otherwise by the authors) and we will require this abstract to be formatted in the AAAI format mentioned above. Please clearly mark as a footnote of the title the name of the venue where this paper was published/accepted for publication, e.g,. \footnote{Accepted to AAAI-15}.

Previously published papers will undergo a light reviewing process in order to ensure that they are of interest to the SoCS community and that the optional
extended abstract meets the required quality standards. Because they are already published, these papers cannot be submitted anonymously.


- Abstract submission deadline: Mar 3, 2015

- Paper submission deadline: Mar 9, 2015

- Notification: Apr 7, 2015

- SoCS conference: June 11-13, 2015

For any inquiries, please feel free to contact the conference chairs.


- Levi Lelis, Universidade Federal de Vicosa, Brazil (
- Roni Stern, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (


- Solomon Eyal Shimony, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (
- Ariel Felner, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (

We hope to see you in June in Israel,
Levi, Roni, Ariel, and Eyal

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