SoCS 2015
Call For Papers

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Past SoCS Conferences
2014 Prague, Czech Republic
2013 Leavenworth, WA
2012 Niagara Falls, Canada
2011 Barcelona, Spain
2010 Atlanta, GA
2009 Lake Arrowhead, CA
2008 Chicago, IL

SoCS 2015: The 8th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search


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)

Submission deadline: Mar 9, 2015, abstract due in Mar 3, 2015. Submission web site

What is new in a nutshell:

  1. Paper deadline extended from March 1 to March 9
  2. Registration fees of 500$ for non-students, and 350 for students (meals and basic accommodation included)
  3. Cross submission with IJCAI-15 (details below)
  4. Travel support to students and non-students based on availability of funds
  5. Invited Speakers

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.


We kindly received support from local governmental sources to host SoCS-15 in Israel. Therefore, SoCS-15 will have the following registration fee: 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 reduction of $100 in the total registration fee for both conferences.


We are going to offer further financial support to students based on available funds. Students and others attending both ICAPS and SoCS should apply to both venues for support. They will get more help than those attending only one of the conferences. We might be able to also partially support non-students based on availability of funds. See the Travel Support page in this web site.


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.


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 here for details on Masada.


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.


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 the AI field has authored several 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. Prof. Russell will be the invited speaker in the joint ICAPS-SoCS session on the first day of SoCS/last day of ICAPS.

2. Prof. Maxim Likhachev from Carnagie 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.

3. Prof. Nathan Sturtevant from Denver University (DU), has written numerous papers on heuristic search and has authored several influential papers on pathfinding in grids and on the use of heuristic search in digital entertainment. Also, he maintains the standard grid-based pathfinding benchmark suite, which has already been used in more than 70 academic papers. Prof. Sturtevant chaired the Grid-Based Path Planning competition (GPPC) for the past 3 years, and in his talk he will survey recent methods in pathfinding in grid and share his experience from the current and past path planning competition.


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


Papers should be submitted to the SoCS 2015 EasyChair installment. All submissions must be formatted in AAAI style, available at the following link

We encourage researchers to submit two categories of papers to the symposium: original papers and recently published papers from 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:
  1. Long papers: up to 8 pages + an additional page for references
  2. Short papers: up to 4 pages + an additional page for references
  3. 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}, and add the original, perviously published paper as supplamentary material.


Abstract submission deadline: Mar 3, 2015, 11:59PM UTC-12
Paper submission deadline: Mar 9, 2015, 11:59PM UTC-12
Notification: Apr 7, 2015
SoCS conference: June 11-13, 2015

Submission is done via the following EasyChair submission web site.

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


Levi Lelis, Universidade Federal de Vi├žosa, Brazil
Roni Stern, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel


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

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

SoCS 2015 is a Research Workshop of the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF)