Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Senjuti Basu Roy

Second Advisor

Guiling Wang

Third Advisor

Ioannis Koutis

Fourth Advisor

David Shirokoff

Fifth Advisor

Krishna R. Pattipati


The process of complex task planning is ubiquitous and arises in a variety of compelling applications. A few leading examples include designing a personalized course plan or trip plan, designing music playlists/work sessions in web applications, or even planning routes of naval assets to collaboratively discover an unknown destination. For all of these aforementioned applications, creating a plan requires satisfying a basic construct, i.e., composing a sequence of sub-tasks (or items) that optimizes several criteria and satisfies constraints. For instance, in course planning, sub-tasks or items are core and elective courses, and degree requirements capture their complex dependencies as constraints. In trip planning, sub-tasks are points of interest (POIs) and constraints represent time and monetary budget, or user-specified requirements. Needless to say, task plans are to be individualized and designed considering uncertainty. When done manually, the process is human-intensive and tedious, and unlikely to scale. The goal of this dissertation is to present computational frameworks that synthesize the capabilities of human and AI algorithms to enable task planning at scale while satisfying multiple objectives and complex constraints.

This dissertation makes significant contributions in four main areas, (i) proposing novel models, (ii) designing principled scalable algorithms, (iii) conducting rigorous experimental analysis, and (iv) deploying designed solutions in the real-world. A suite of constrained and multi-objective optimization problems has been formalized, with a focus on their applicability across diverse domains. From an algorithmic perspective, the dissertation proposes principled algorithms with theoretical guarantees adapted from discrete optimization techniques, as well as Reinforcement Learning based solutions. The memory and computational efficiency of these algorithms have been studied, and optimization opportunities have been proposed. The designed solutions are extensively evaluated on various large-scale real-world and synthetic datasets and compared against multiple baseline solutions after appropriate adaptation. This dissertation also presents user study results involving human subjects to validate the effectiveness of the proposed models. Lastly, a notable outcome of this dissertation is the deployment of one of the developed solutions at the Naval Postgraduate School. This deployment enables simultaneous route planning for multiple assets that are robust to uncertainty under multiple contexts.



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