The Right Path

The Right Path

Dr. Dor Atzmon specializes in heuristic search and planning, while working with AI plotting paths for robots in multi-agent environments

In the foreseeable future, our roads will be bursting with autonomous vehicles. They will have to get from point A to point B, maybe run some errands while out there (if they’re delivery vehicles, for example), and do it all in a safely and quickly, without bumping into anything or running over someone along the way. “It’s actually a combinatory problem of finding paths. A problem that can be modeled using states and transitions between states,” Dr. Arzmon explains. “This kind of problems doesn’t just concern plotting routes in the physical world. The Rubik’s cube, for example, poses a combinatory problem. We have to take it from point A, its current arrangement, to point B, the final state where all its faces have one color, while there’s a series of actions we can take, to take it from one state to the next.”

Dr. Atzmon, 34, in a relationship, is the newest faculty staff member, which he will be officially joining in October 2023, as part of the new software engineering track. His academic career started at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where he completed his first, second and third degrees at the Software and Information Systems Engineering department. “As part of my second and third degrees, I explored AI, under the supervision of Prof. Ariel Felner and Prof. Rono Stern, with focus on heuristic search and planning. Specifically, my doctoral work had its focus on pathfinding in an environment that has multi-agents moving across its space, like robots, or drones. Take smart warehouses, for example. Not only do you have to find a path for every robot moving through space, but you must also make sure they don’t bump into each other.”

He completed his doctorate in 2021 and took a postdoctoral fellowship in Royal Holloway University of London. “During my post-doc, supervised by Prof. Sara Bernardini, I took my work from theory to practice, developing algorithms for actual robots in an actual warehouse. The post-doc was a collaboration with robotics company Tharsus, which operates smart warehouses. I actually combine theoretical work with practical work.”

He plans to take the discipline and implement it here too, at the Faculty of Engineering. “One of my objectives, which is very common in my field, is to have my lab combining robots on which to realize the algorithms we have been developing and run our experiences, so that they perform different actions across the space. Plus, I would like to venture into the game discipline, which I have touched upon in the past. This field too involves pathfinding problems: In games with more than a solo player, every player performs an action that changes the current state of the game. We would like to find a solution for one of the players, to give them an edge.”

Dr. Atzmon is looking for partners. “I’m looking for second- and third-degree students, of sturdy mathematical skills and coding and AI knowledge. Beyond the plain requirements, I’m looking for nice people to work with, I find it every bit as important.”

Sounds interesting? Please contact Dr. Atzmon at


Last Updated Date : 02/10/2023