Edinburgh Research Explorer

Austin Tate

UoE Honorary staff

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

Research Groups

  • Artificial Intelligence and its 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 is Emeritus Professor of Knowledge-Based Systems at the University of Edinburgh and was the Director of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute at the University from 1985 to 2019. Over that period he led its efforts to transfer the technologies and methods of artificial intelligence and knowledge-based systems into commercial, governmental and academic applications throughout the world. In 2019, AIAI has been combined with the previous Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications (CISA) to form the Artificial Intelligence and its Applications Institute with a wider focus on AI research as well as applications.

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 work on "I-X" was 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 bythe UK EPSRC. He also led the US DARPA funded Coalition Agent eXperiment (CoAX) project involving some 30 organizations in 4 countries over a 3 year period. His work has been applied to search and rescue and emergency response tasks, space technology applications and other sectors. Hie continues to maintain a research interest in advanced knowledge and planning technologies, and collaborative systems especially using virtual worlds. He also coordinates 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.

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