Rina Dechter is a professor of computer science at the University of California at Irvine, where she teaches and conducts research in the area of artificial intelligence. Her research has centered on the computational aspects of automated reasoning and knowledge representation, including search, constraint processing, and probabilistic reasoning. More recently she has focused on the unifying algorithmic principles of graphical models for expressing both probabilistic and deterministic information.
During her fellowship year, Dechter plans to work toward expanding the computational boundaries of automated reasoning by using the newly introduced scheme of AND/OR search spaces. The AND/OR search space is a powerful unifying principle that exploits the dependency structure of graphical models in search algorithms. She will focus on reasoning systems over mixed knowledge bases that can express uncertain information as well as hard constraints. The need to accommodate both types of information in a single model is motivated by numerous real-life applications, especially those involving human behaviors such as planning and decision making.
Dechter received her PhD in computer science at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1985. She is the author of the book Constraint Processing (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2003). She has authored more than fifty research papers and has served on the editorial boards of Artificial Intelligence, Constraints, the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, and the Encyclopedia of AI. In 1991, she received the Presidential Young Investigator Award, and she is a fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence.