Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Austin Tate

Personal Chair in Knowledge-based Systems

Profile photo

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Science, University of Edinburgh
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Machine Intelligence, Using Goal Structure to Direct Search in a Problem Solver
Bachelor of Arts, Lancaster University
Computer Studies

Professional Qualifications

Chartered Engineer, CEng

Administrative Roles

  • Director, Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI)
  • Coordinator of Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue)

Research Groups

  • Centre for Intelligent Systems & their Applications (CISA)
  • Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI)
  • Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue)

Research Interests

My research in a nutshell

Visiting and Research Positions

  • Visiting Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, Florida (IHMC)
  • Senior Researcher, Institute for Interstellar Studies (I4IS)



Prof. Austin Tate holds the Chair in Knowledge-Based Systems at the University of Edinburgh and is the Director of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute at the University. He helped form AIAI in 1984 and since that time has led its efforts to transfer the technologies and methods of artificial intelligence and knowledge systems into commercial, governmental and academic applications throughout the world. 

Prof. Tate's research interests are in the use of rich process and plan representations along with tools that can utilize these representations to support planning and activity management. He pioneered the early, now widely used and deployed, approaches to hierarchical planning and constraint satisfaction in the Interplan, Nonlin, O-Plan and I-Plan planning systems. His recent work on "I-X" is concerned with supporting collaboration between human and system agents to perform cooperative tasks in a "Helpful Environment". Prof. Tate was the Edinburgh PI in the Advanced Knowledge Technologies Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration funded by EPSRC. He also led the DARPA funded Coalition Agent eXperiment (CoAX) project involving some 30 organizations in 4 countries over a 3 year period. His work is being applied to search and rescue and emergency response tasks. His internationally sponsored research work is focused on the use of advanced knowledge and planning technologies, and collaborative systems especially using virtual worlds. He leads the Virtual University of Edinburgh, Vue, a virtual educational and research institute bringing together those interested in the use of virtual worlds for teaching, research and outreach. He is on the Senior Advisory Board for IEEE Intelligent Systems journal.

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