Challenges for AI in Computational Sustainability

author: Carla P. Gomes, Department of Computer Science, Cornell University
published: Oct. 22, 2010,   recorded: July 2010,   views: 3390

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Computational Sustainability is a new interdisciplinary research field with the overall goal of developing computational models, methods, and tools to help manage the balance between environmental, economic, and societal needs for a sustainable future. In this talk I will provide an overview of Computational Sustainability, with examples ranging from wildlife conservation and biodiversity, to poverty mitigation, to large-scale deployment and management of renewable energy sources. I will highlight overarching computational challenges for AI at the intersection of constraint reasoning, optimization, machine learning, and dynamical systems. Finally I will discuss the need for a new approach that views computational sustainability problems as "natural" phenomena, amenable to a scientific methodology, in which principled experimentation, to explore problem parameter spaces and hidden problem structure, plays as prominent a role as formal analysis.

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