The objectives of the competition are to provide a forum for empirical comparison of planning systems, to highlight challenges to the community in the form of problems at the edge of current capabilities, to propose new directions for research and to provide a core of common benchmark problems and a representation formalism that can aid in the comparison and evaluation of planning systems. Although the series has a competitive style (individual systems are identified for exceptional performance at the event itself), the focus is on data-collection and presentation, with interpretation of results being understated. The real goal of the competition is to make as much data as possible available to the community.
The deterministic part of IPC is the oldest one; its 8th recurrence will run in 2014 and conclude together with ICAPS, in June 2014, in Portsmouth (USA). This time it is organized by Lukas Chrpa, Mauro Vallati and Lee McCluskey.
IPC-2014 will be based on PDDL 3.1, i.e. the same language used in IPC-2011 with no extensions at all. A competing team may participate for any track. However, the competitors are strongly encouraged to participate in every track supported by their planners.
The precise evaluation criteria will be known to the competitors well ahead of time (check the website for further details), in order to prepare their planners accordingly. For some tracks, a separate prize will be given to optimal planners. We are considering, but further information will follow, a special award for the most innovative planner that will participate in the competition.
As in IPC-11 the evaluation process will comprise two phases: Initially, the competitors will be given a set of representative domain/problem instances to test their planners on their own machines. Then, they will submit a final version of the source code of their planners that will be run by the organizers on the actual competition domains/problems (unknown to the competitors till this time). This way no fine-tuning of the planners will be possible.
All competitors must submit an abstract (max. 300 words) and a 4-page paper describing their planners. A booklet with the papers (possibly electronic) will be distributed among the ICAPS 2014 participants.
Finally, an important requirement for IPC-2014 competitors is to give the organizers the right to post the code of their planners on the official IPC-2014 web site.