Pascal Bercher

Senior Lecturer


If you want to learn more about me, my personal website presents my entire academic CV.

  • Jan. 2022-today: (tenure-track) Senior Lecturer (US/Europe-equivalent: Associate Professor) at the ANU.
  • Nov. 2019-Dec. 2021: (tenure-track) Lecturer (US/Europe-equivalent: Assistant Professor) at the ANU.
  • Oct. 2016-Oct. 2019: Project coordinator (over the entire runtime) of the technology transfer project “Do it yourself, but not alone: Companion-Technology for Home Improvement”, which was a collaboration between two Institutes of Ulm University and the Corporate Research Sector of Robert Bosch GmbH.
  • July 2009-Dec. 2017: Dr. rer. nat. at the Institute of Artificial Intelligence of Ulm University, Germany. My supervisor was Prof. Dr. Susanne Biundo-Stephan.
  • Oct. 2003-June 2009: Studies of Computer Science (Diploma, which is roughly Bachelor + Master in one degree) at the University of Freiburg, Germany.


My research area is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Planning, also often referred to as Automated Planning. More specifically, I’m an expert for the following planning areas:

  • Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning and
  • Partial Order Causal Link (POCL) planning.

The first is a hierarchical approach to planning that bases upon problem decomposition refining an abstract problem until it’s “primitive” and thus solved. (I also created a website for this discipline.) The second is concerned with reasoning about partially ordered sets of actions.

Technology-wise, I’m interested in:

  • Computational Complexity Analysis
  • Algorithm and Heuristic Design
  • Providing Modeling Assistance

Teaching, Project, and PhD Supervision

This is just an excerpt of my teaching activities. For a complete list, visit my personal webpage (teaching).

  • Coursework:
    • In S1 2023, I will be the convenor of Theory of Computation (COMP3630/6363).
    • In S2 2023, I will be the second examiner of Algorithms (COMP3600/6466).
  • Undergraduate research projects:
    • I supervise several research projects each semester. You find a list of topics and several further information on my personal webpage (projects).
  • Looking for a PhD?
    • If you want to do your PhD specifically under my supervision, just approach me directly. But you must check out my personal webpage (prospective PhD students), otherwise I will ignore your request. Fun fact: I ignore 19/20 applications because they don’t do this…
    • If you are more open towards the specific topic you work on, please visit my personal webpage (prospective PhD students) anyway, as I also mention some other possibilities there.

Service Roles

I take multiple service roles at the ANU:

  • I’m a member of CECC’s Work, Health, and Safety (WHS) committee
  • I’m a first Aider and mental first aider
  • I’m an incident investigator
  • I’m a member of the SoCo PhD scholarship committee

For a more detailed list, visit my personal webpage (service).


I publish quite a bit, please find all my publications (with bibtex and PDFs) on my personal webpage (publications).

You can also find me on google scholar and DBLP.

Honours & Awards

I list the most important/prestigious ones below. For a complete list visit my personal webpage (awards).

  • Research Awards:
    • ICAPS 2022 Best Undergraduate Student Paper Award (second of two authors)
    • ICAPS 2021 Best Undergraduate Student Paper Award (second of two authors)
    • ICAPS 2019 Best Dissertation Award
    • ICAPS 2018 Best Student Paper Award (second of four authors)
    • ICTAI 2018 Best Paper Award (third of four authors)
  • Best reviewer Awards:
    • ICAPS Outstanding Senior Program Committee (SPC) Member Award 2022
    • AAAI Outstanding Program Committee (PC) Member Award 2021
    • AAAI Outstanding Program Committee (PC) Member Award 2019
    • Theoretical Computer Science journal (year omitted to remain anonymity)

Note that ICAPS is the premier conference for Planning and Scheduling, and ranked A* by CORE. Likewise, AAAI is one of two top-tier conferences for AI in general, and also ranked A* by CORE. ICTAI is ranked B and a large platform for AI research as well.

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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