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Russell Knight

Contact Information

Address

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 301-260
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109-8099

Phone

(818) 393-5374

Fax

(818) 393-5244

Email

russell.knight@jpl.nasa.gov

Official Bio

Russell Knight joined us from GTE Corporation. Russell has significant experience in both hands-on software development and technical leadership of software design and development tasks. Russell holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently working on the Automated Scheduing and Planning Environment (ASPEN) planning system for mission operations, the Continuous Activity Scheduling, Planning, Execution, and Replanning (CASPER) real-time planning system, Compressed Large-scale Activity Scheduling and Planning (CLASP), and the Eagle-Eye adaptation of ASPEN. He has also supported local schools as the arbiter for the Glendale Scholastic Bowl

His research interests are in planning and scheduling, heuristic search, operations research, and space exploration automation.

Group Links

Projects

Academic Background

  • Docotor of Philosophy in Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 2005
  • Master of Science in Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science (Magna cum Laude) in Computer Science with a concentration in English literature, University of Maryland, European Division, 1994

Research Interests

  • Combinatorial Optimization and Heuristic Search
  • Planning, Scheduling, and Operations Research
  • Robotics
  • Machine Learning

Professional Experience

1997 - present Principal Technologist, Artificial Intelligence Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
  • Lead for various Department of Defense studies
  • Inventor of Eagle Eye, a geometry-aware adaptation of ASPEN used for medium-scale planning and scheduling problems involving ground imaging campaigns from space
  • Inventor of CLASP, a geometry-aware planner/scheduler used for planning and scheduling observations over large areas and over large temporal spans
  • Software lead for the ASIMO stowage planning system for ISS
  • Mission design planning for Orbital Express
  • Co-I on Intelligent Systems Proposal-leading polytopical solver and integrated planner/solver design.
  • Lead Designer and Developer of the Mission Data System (MDS) scheduler— the key component of the goal oriented reasoning and commanding architecture
  • Designed and fabricated an extreme weather charging system for remote GPS monitoring stations in Antarctica—delivered and installed same.
  • Lead Developer for Generalized Timelines, a technology used in the MDS for communicating constraints on and estimations of state values.
  • Lead Developer for CASPER (Continuous Activity Scheduling, Planning, Execution and Replanning), a soft real-time execution system for automated planning and scheduling systems.
  • Developer for ASPEN, an automated planning and scheduling system.
  • Developed critical path communications software for the Mars Polar Lander ground operations team.
1986 - 1997 Software and Electrical Engineer, GTE Government Systems.
  • Lead engineer for a parts knowledge base that guides the non-expert through the selection of configuration of computer parts and assemblies, automatically verifies the configurations, and automatically generates a substitution list of parts that are either exactly or up/downgrade equivalent to the given part or assembly. Included supervising other developers, working with other departments, and traveling to management hubs in Europe and Asia
  • Lead engineer for a division-wide Information Repository and user query adaptations. Implemented using Microsoft SQL and Andyne GQL.
  • Lead engineer for a parts usage system that automatically generated depot instructions, purchase instructions, risk estimates, and aided proposal generation through predictive models
  • Participated in development and fielding of a worldwide network of portable PCs implementing a paperless office and ordering system
  • Lead engineer for the installation and accreditation of computer systems and network communications for the US forces SCIF in SHAPE, Belgium
  • Lead engineer for a set of communications hardware and software drivers implementing serial communications in a secure environment

Professional Activities

  • Invited Panelist, Robust Embedded Autonomy, AAAI 2001 Spring Symposium on Robust Autonomy, Stanford University, March 2001
  • Invited Panelist, Future Directions of Research on Integrated Planning and Scheduling, International Joint Conference Workshop on Planning with Resources, Seattle, WA, August 2001
  • Invited Panelist, State of the Technology, International Joint Conference Workshop on Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Manufacturing: New AI Paradigms for Manufacturing, Seattle, WA, August 2001
  • Program Committee Member, Workshop on On-line Planning and Scheduling, Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling, Toulouse, France, April 2002

Major Awards

2018 Team Bonus Award, Knight Team, "Made the planning/scheduling system design and integration plan a reality"
2017 Explorer Award, "For exceptional leadership in the development of mission analysis capabilities for accurate assessment of observational capabilities of mission importance"
2017 Team Bonus Award, Knight Team, "Completed key products and a major milestone; modeling and analysis to demonstrate extended potential capabilities and applications"
2016 Team Bonus Award, Acquisition Team, "Accomplished critical program milestones"
2016 Discovery Award, "Leadership of a key activity area which has led directly to program success
2014 Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal, "For the revolutionary development of geometry-aware and coverage observation planning techniques, impacting numerous NASA missions"
2014 Team Bonus Award, Visualization Team, "Significant achievement in rapid preparation of complex visualization products"
2014 Mariner Award, "For outstanding efforts in the infusion of the Mars Science Laboratory operations staff scheduler into operations"
2013 Team Bonus Award, Advanced Optical Systems Special Study Team, "These individuals contributed outstanding talent and effort to rapid-paced advanced optical systems studies for reimbursable activities"
2013 Ranger, "In recognition of outstanding technical innovation in the development and enhancement of automated mission planning techniques"
2012 Mariner Award, "For successfully delivering software used to plan and keep track of material and items stowed aboard the International Space Station"
2011 Group Achievement Award, Robust Operations (RO) Team, "For exceptional achievement in identifying and infusing new concepts and capabilities, resulting in more competitive and cost-efficient operations"
2007 Mariner Award, "Leadership of Orbital Express Automatic Planning Demo"
2004 Leadership Award, "Intelligent Sys. Future years funding"
2001 Group Achievement Award, ASPEN (Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment) Development Team, "In recognition of outstanding achievement in the design, implementation, and deployment of an advanced planning and scheduling system for spaceflight"
2000 NASA Group Achievement Award, Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) Development Team, "In recognition of outstanding achievement in the design, implementation, and deployment of an advanced planning and scheduling system for spaceflight mission operations automation"
1999 Developer, Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN), Honorable Mention for 1999 Software of the Year Award, "ASPEN is a revolutionary Automated Planning and Scheduling System which has been used to automate Spacecraft Operations and Ground Communications Stations"
1997 Designer, DSSO's Automatically Symbolized Hardware (DASH), GTE Technological Development Award

Other Awards


2003 Developer/Researcher, Certificate of Recognition, For the creative development of a technical innovation which has been proposed for publication as a NASA Tech Brief
  • Software for the Heuristic Portfolios for Automated Planning and Scheduling
  • Closed Loop Execution and Recovery (CLEaR)
  • Automated Planning for Mission Design (ASPEN)
  • Abstract Reasoning for Multiple Rover Coordination
  • Software for the Techsat-21 Autonomous Sciencecraft Constellation (ASC)
  • A Constellation Planning System for the Three-Corner Sat Mission

2002 Developer/Researcher, Certificate of Recognition, For the creative development of a technical innovation which has been proposed for publication as a NASA Tech Brief
  • Software for Automated Planning of Spacecraft Missions
  • Generalized Time-Line Program for Planning and Scheduling
  • Continuous Planning During Execution
  • Software for an Autonomous Constellation of Satellites
  • Software for Automation of Real-time Agents

2001 Developer/Engineer, Nova Award
  • Modified Antarctica Mapping Mission Automated Mission Planning Development Team
  • For GPS in Antarctica Project

2000 Developer/Researcher, Certificate of Recognition, For the creative development of technically significant software which has been accepted and approved for dissemination to the public by NASA
  • Improving Search in Scheduling by Aggregation of Resource and State Constraints
Developer/Researcher, Certificate of Recognition, For the creative development of a technical innovation which has been proposed for publication as a NASA Tech Brief
  • Continuous Activity Scheduling Planning and Replanning (CASPER)
  • Improving Search in Scheduling by Aggregation of Resource and State Constraints.

1999 Developer, Certificate of Recognition, For the creative development of technically significant software which has been accepted and approved for dissemination to the public by NASA
  • Automated Planning and Scheduling Environment (ASPEN) Version 2
  • Integrated Planning and Execution for Autonomous Spacecraft

1998 Developer, Nova Award
  • In recognition to the commitment to excellence demonstrated by Russell Knight working on improvements to the ASPEN planning and scheduling system

1992 Engineer, Instant Recognition Award
  • For technical expertise that contributed significantly to the success of REFORGER 1992

Publications

Publications in Journals

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, S. Chien, B. Engelhardt, R. Sherwood, "CASPER: Space Exploration through Continuous Planning," IEEE Intelligent Systems, September/October 2001, pp. 70-75.

Publications in Books

R. Knight. "Flight Software for Space Systems," Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering, Wiley, 2010.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, S. Chien. "Board-laying Techniques Improve Local Search in Mixed Planning and Scheduling," Local Search in Planning and Scheduling, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Springer-Verlag, 2001.

S. Chien, R. Knight, G. Rabideau, "An Empirical Evaluation of the effectiveness of local search for replanning," Local Search in Planning and Scheduling, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Springer-Verlag, 2001.

Major Conference Publications

E. Shao, A. Byon, C. Davies, E. Davis, R. Knight, G. Lewellen, M. Trowbridge, and S. Chien, Area Coverage Planning with 3-axis Steerable, 2D Framing Sensors. In Scheduling and Planning Applications Workshop, International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS SPARK 2018), Delft, Netherlands, June 2018.

S. Chien, R. Knight, S. Schaffer, D. R. Thompson, B. Bue, and M. Troesch, An Onboard Autonomous Response Prototype for an Earth Observing Spacecraft. In International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Space (AI Space, IJCAI 2015), Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2015.

G. Rabideau, S. Chien, D. McLaren, and R. Knight, Scheduling Targeted and Mapping Observations for the THEMIS Instrument Onboard Mars Odyssey. In Workshop on Scheduling and Planning Applications, International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (SPARK, ICAPS 2010), Toronto, Canada, May 2010.

R. Knight, Evaporating Tasks During Execution of Dynamically Controllable Networks. In International Conference on Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2005), Monterey, CA, June 2005.

R. Knight, "Lightweight Simulation of Air Traffic Control Using Simple Temporal Networks." In International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2005), Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2005.

R. Knight, F. Fisher, T. Estlin, B. Engelhardt, and S. Chien, "Balancing Deliberation and Reaction, Planning and Execution for Space Robotic Applications," International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2001), Maui, HI, November 2001.

S. Chien, R. Sherwood, M. Burl, R. Knight, G. Rabideau, B. Engelhardt, A. Davies, R. Castano, T. Stough, J. Roden, P. Zetocha, R. Wainwright, P. Klupar, P. Cappelaere, J. Van Gaasbeck, D. Surka, M. Brito, B. Williams, M. Ingham, "A Demonstration of Robust Planning, Scheduling and Execution for the Techsat-21 Autonomous Sciencecraft Constellation," Proceedings of the 2001 European Conference on Planning (ECP2001), Toledo, Spain, September 2001.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, S. Chien, "Computing Valid Intervals for Collections of Activities with Shared States and Resources," Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling, Breckenridge, CO, April 2000.

S. Chien, R. Knight, A. Stechert, R. Sherwood, and G. Rabideau, "Using Iterative Repair to Improve The Responsiveness of Planning and Scheduling," Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling, Breckenridge, CO, April 2000.

Other Publications

G. Lewellen, M. Trowbridge, E. Shao, C. Davies, and R. Knight, Estimating Time to Image Areas with Steerable 2D Framing Sensors. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2017), Pittsburgh, PA, June 2017.

G. Lewellen, C. Davies, A. Byon, R. Knight, E. Shao, D. Tran, M. and Trowbridge, A Hybrid Traveling Salesman Problem — Squeaky Wheel Optimization Planner for Earth Observational Scheduling. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2017), Pittsburgh, PA, June 2017.

S. Chien, D. R. Thompson, J. Castillo-Rogez, G. Rabideau, B. Bue, R. Knight, S. Schaffer, W. Huffman, and K. L. Wagstaff, Agile Science — A new paradigm for Missions and Flight Software. Keynote at the Flight Software Workshop, Pasadena, CA, December 2016.

R. Knight, A. Mishkin, and A. Allbaugh Automated Scheduling of Personnel to Staff Operations for the Mars Science Laboratory. In International Conference On Space Operations (SpaceOps 2014), Pasadena, CA, May 2014.

R. Knight. Area Coverage Planning for Sub-dividable Framing Instruments. In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation for Space (ISAIRAS 2014), Montreal, Canada, June 2014.

T. Ray, R. Knight, and D. Mohr, Automated Scheduling of Science Activities for Titan Encounters by Cassini. In International Conference On Space Operations (SpaceOps 2014), Pasadena, CA, May 2014.

J. Doubleday, and R. Knight, Science Mission Planning for NISAR (formerly DESDynI) with CLASP. In International Conference On Space Operations (SpaceOps 2014), Pasadena, CA, May 2014.

R. Knight, C. Chouinard, and D. Tran, Leveraging Multiple Artificial Intelligence Techniques to Improve the Responsiveness in Operations Planning: ASPEN for Orbital Express. AI Magazine, 35 (4): 26-36. Winter 2014.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, A. Mishkin, and Y. Lee, Automating Stowage Operations for the International Space Station. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2013), Moffett Field, CA, March 2013.

R. Knight, A. Donnellan, J. and Green, Mission Design Evaluation Using Automated Planning for High Resolution Imaging of Dynamic Surface Processes from the ISS. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2013), Moffett Field, CA, March 2013.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, M. Lenda, and P. Maldague, A Comparison of Declarative and Hybrid Declarative-Procedural Models for Rover Operations. In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation for Space (ISAIRAS 2012), Turin, Italy, September 2012.

R. Knight, D. McLaren, and S. Hu, Planning Coverage Campaigns for Mission Design and Analysis: CLASP for the proposed DESDynI Mission. In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation for Space (ISAIRAS 2012), Turin, Italy, September 2012.

D. McLaren, G. Rabideau, S. Chien, R. Knight, S. Anwar, G. Mehall, and P. Christensen, Scheduling Results for the THEMIS Observation Scheduling Tool. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2011), Darmstadt, Germany, June 2011.

T. Estlin, S. Chien, R. Castano, D. Gaines, C. de Granville, J. Doubleday, R. Anderson, R. Knight, B. Bornstein, G. Rabideau, and B. Tang, Multi-Asset Coordination for Autonomous Science Campaigns. In International Conference On Space Operations 2010 (SpaceOps 2010), Huntsville, AL, April 2010.

G. Rabideau, S. Chien, D. Mclaren, R. Knight, S. Anwar, and G. Mehall, A Tool for Scheduling THEMIS Observations. In International Symposium on Space Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation for Space (ISAIRAS 2010), Sapporo, Japan, August 2010.

T. Estlin, S. Chien, R. Castano, J. Doubleday, D. Gaines, R. C. Anderson, C. de Granville, R. Knight, G. Rabideau, and B. Tang, Coordinating Multiple Spacecraft in Joint Science Campaigns. In International Symposium on Space Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation for Space (ISAIRAS 2010), Sapporo, Japan, August 2010.

B. Clement, J. Barreiro, M. Iatauro, R. Knight, and J. Frank, Spatial Planning for International Space Station Crew Operations. In International Symposium on Space Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation for Space (ISAIRAS 2010), Sapporo, Japan, August 2010.

S. Chien, R. Knight, A. Stechert, R. Sherwood, G. and Rabideau, Integrated Planning and Execution for Autonomous Spacecraft. IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 24 (1): 23-30. January 2009.

R. Knight, S. Schaffer, and B. Clement, Power Planning in the International Space Station Domain. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2009), Pasadena, CA, July 2009.

R. Knight and S. Hu, Compressed Large-scale Activity Scheduling and Planning (CLASP) Applied to DESDynI. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop in Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2009), Pasadena, CA, 2009.

R. Knight and S. Chien, Producing Large Observation Campaigns Using Compressed Problem Representations. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS-2006), Space Telescope Science Institute, Maryland, 2006.

A. Barrett, R. Knight, R. Morris, and R. Rasmussen, Mission Planning and Execution Within the Mission Data System. In International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2004), Darmstadt, Germany, June 2004.

R. Knight, B. Smith, "Optimal Nadir Observation Scheduling," International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space, Darmstadt, Germany, 2004.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, B. Engelhardt, S. Chien, "Robust Planning with Flawed Models," AAAI 2001 Spring Symposium on Robust Autonomy," Stanford University, March 2001.

R. Knight, S. Chien, B. Keller. "Enabling Onboard Spacecraft Autonomy through Goal-based Architectures." Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference (IAC), Big Sky, MT, March 2001.

S. Chien, R. Sherwood, G. Rabideau, R. Castano, A. Davies, M. Burl, R. Knight, T. Stough, J. Roden, P. Zetocha, R. Wainwright, J. V. Gaasbeck, P. Cappelaere, and D. Oswald, The Techsat-21 Autonomous Space Science Agent. In International Conference on Autonomous Agents (Agents 2002), Bologna, Italy, July 2002.

F. Fisher, T. Estlin, D. Gaines, S. Schaffer, C. Chouinard, and R. Knight, CLEaR: Closed Loop Execution and Recovery — A Framework for Unified Planning and Execution. Interplanetary Network Directorate Technology and Science News, Issue 16: 15-20. September 2002.

S. Chien, B. Engelhardt, R. Knight, G. Rabideau, R. Sherwood, D. Tran, E. Hansen, A Ortiviz, C. Wilklow, and S. Wichman, Onboard Autonomy Software on the Three Corner Sat Mission. In International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps 2002), Houston, TX, October 2002.

F. Fisher, B. Engelhardt, R. Knight, C. Wilklow, S. Chien, T. Estlin, "CLEaR : Closed Loop Execution and Recovery," Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference (IAC), Big Sky, MT, March 2001.

A. Donnellan, B. Luyendyk, D. Capetanopoulos, S. Jackson, R. Knight, "GPS Measurement of Tectonic Deformation and Isostatic Rebound in Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica", Eos. Trans. AGU, 82(20), Spring Meeting, 2001.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, S. Chien, "Extending the Representational Power of Model-based Systems using Generalized Timelines," Proceedings of i-SAIRAS 2001.

S. Chien, R. Sherwood, M. Burl, R. Knight, G. Rabideau, B. Engelhardt, A. Davies, P. Zetocha, R. Wainright, P. Klupar, P. Cappelaere, D. Surka, B. Williams, R. Greeley, V. Baker, J. Doan, "The Techsat-21 Autonomous Sciencecraft Constellation Demonstration", Proceedings of i-SAIRAS 2001.

S. Chien, B. Engelhardt, R. Knight, G. Rabideau, R. Sherwood, E. Hansen, A. Ortiviz, C. Wilklow, S. Wichman , "Onboard Autonomy on the Three Corner Sat Mission," Proceedings of International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence Robotics and Automation in Space, Montreal, Canada, 2001.

Knight, R.; Fisher, F.; Estlin, T.; Engelhardt, B.; and Chien, S. Balancing Deliberation and Reaction, Planning and Execution for Space Robotic Applications. In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2001), Maui, HI, November 2001.

F. Fisher, R. Knight, B. Engelhardt, S. Chien, N. Alejandre, "Monitor and Control of Deep Space Communications through AI Planning," Third International Conference on Intelligent Automation and Control World Automation Congress, Maui, HI, June 2000.

F. Fisher, R. Knight, B. Engelhardt, S. Chien, N. Alejandre, "A Planning Approach to Monitor and Control for Deep Space Communications", Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, March 2000.

S. Chien, G. Rabideau, R. Knight, R. Sherwood, B. Engelhardt, D. Mutz, T. Estlin, B. Smith, F. Fisher, T. Barrett, G. Stebbins, D. Tran, "ASPEN - Automating Space Mission Operations," SpaceOps 2000, Toulouse, France.

R. Knight, S. Chien, T. Starbird, K. Gostelow, R. Keller, W. Smith, et al., "Integrating Model-based Artificial Intelligence Planning with Procedural Elaboration for Onboard Spacecraft Autonomy, " SpaceOps 2000, Toulouse, France.

R. Knight, G. Rabideau, and S. Chien, "Merging the Semantics of State Constraints for Collections of Activities." Second NASA International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space, San Francisco, CA, March 16-18, 2000.

Knight, R.; Rabideau, G.; and Chien, S. Computing Valid Intervals for Collections of Activities with Shared States and Resources. In International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning Systems (AIPS 2000), Breckenridge, CO, April 2000.

S. Chien, R. Knight, A. Stechert, R. Sherwood, G. Rabideau, "Integrated Planning and Execution for Autonomous Spacecraft", Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference, Aspen, CO, March 1999.

S. Chien, R. Knight, A. Stechert, R. Sherwood, and G. Rabideau, "Using Iterative Repair to Improve the Responsiveness of Planning and Scheduling," IJCAI99 Workshop on Scheduling and Planning meet Real-time Monitoring in a Dynamic and Uncertain World, Stockholm, Sweden, August 1999.

S. Chien, R. Knight, A. Stechert, R. Sherwood, and G. Rabideau, "Continuous Planning for Autonomous Spacecraft," Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing (IASTED), Honolulu, Hawaii, August 1999.

G. Rabideau, R. Knight, S. Chien, A. Fukunaga, A. Govindjee, "Iterative Repair Planning for Spacecraft Operations in the ASPEN System," International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence Robotics and Automation in Space, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, June 1999.

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