Dana Nau

3241 A.V. Williams Building
(301) 405-2684
Ph.D., Duke University (Computer Science)
Special Awards/Honors: 
AAAI Fellow
ACM Fellow

Dana Nau is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Systems Research.

His research focuses on artificial intelligence (AI), especially in the areas of game theory and AI planning. Nau also co-directs the Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics.

He is a fellow of AAAI, and has received dozens of other awards and honors.

Some of Nau's best-known accomplishments include (1) discovering game-tree pathology, which has led to subsequent research by dozens of other researchers over the past three decades; (2) co-authoring the strategy-generation algorithm that enabled the Bridge Baron program to win the 1997 world championship of computer bridge; (3) leading the development of the SHOP and SHOP2 automated-planning systems, which have been used in many hundreds of projects in industry, government, and academia; (4) co-authoring a widely used graduate-level textbook, "Automated Planning: Theory and Practice."

He received his doctorate in computer science from Duke University in 1979.



Ahn J-wook, Taieb-Maimon M, Sopan A, Plaisant C, Shneiderman B.  2011.  Temporal Visualization of Social Network Dynamics: Prototypes for Nation of Neighbors. Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and PredictionSocial Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction. 6589:309-316.

Sharma P, Khurana U, Shneiderman B, Scharrenbroich M, Locke J.  2011.  Speeding Up Network Layout and Centrality Measures for Social Computing Goals. Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and PredictionSocial Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction. 6589:244-251.


Roos P, Carr RJ, Nau DS.  2010.  Evolution of state-dependent risk preferences. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (TIST). 1(1):6:1–6:21-6:1–6:21.

Nau DS, Luštrek M, Parker A, Bratko I, Gams M.  2010.  When is it better not to look ahead? Artificial Intelligence. 174(16–17):1323-1338.


Au T-C, Kuter U, Nau DS.  2009.  Planning for Interactions among Autonomous Agents. Programming Multi-Agent Systems. 5442:1-23.

Kuter U, Nau DS, Pistore M, Traverso P.  2009.  Task decomposition on abstract states, for planning under nondeterminism. Artificial Intelligence. 173(5–6):669-695.

Nau DS.  2009.  Artificial Intelligence and Automation. Springer Handbook of Automation.


Nau DS, Wilkenfeld J.  2008.  Computational Cultural Dynamics. Intelligent Systems, IEEE. 23(4):18-19.


Khuller S, Martinez V, Nau DS, Simari G, Sliva A, Subrahmanian V.  2007.  Finding most probable worlds of probabilistic logic programs. Scalable Uncertainty Management.

Khuller S, Martinez M, Nau DS, Sliva A, Simari G, Subrahmanian V.  2007.  Computing most probable worlds of action probabilistic logic programs: scalable estimation for 10^30,000 worlds. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. 51(2):295-331.

Khuller S, Martinez V, Nau DS, Simari G, Sliva A, Subrahmanian V.  2007.  Finding Most Probable Worlds of Probabilistic Logic Programs. Scalable Uncertainty Management. 4772:45-59.

V.S. Subrahmanian, Albanese M, Martinez M?a V, Nau DS, Reforgiato D, Simari GI, Sliva A, Udrea O, Wilkenfeld J.  2007.  CARA: A Cultural-Reasoning Architecture. IEEE Intelligent Systems. 22(2):12-16.


Simari G, Sliva A, Nau DS, V.S. Subrahmanian.  2006.  A stochastic language for modelling opponent agents. Proceedings of the fifth international joint conference on Autonomous agents and multiagent systems.

Au T, Nau DS.  2006.  The incompleteness of planning with volatile external information. FRONTIERS IN ARTIFICIAL IN℡LIGENCE AND APPLICATIONS. 141:839-839.

Ilghami O, Nau DS, Munoz-Avila H.  2006.  Learning to do HTN planning.


Au T-C, Kuter U, Nau DS.  2005.  Web Service Composition with Volatile Information. The Semantic Web – ISWC 2005. 3729:52-66.

Nau DS, Au T-C, Ilghami O, Kuter U, Wu D, Yaman F, Munoz-Avila H, Murdock JW.  2005.  Applications of SHOP and SHOP2. Intelligent Systems, IEEE. 20(2):34-41.

Kuter U, Sirin E, Parsia B, Nau DS, Hendler J.  2005.  Information gathering during planning for Web Service composition. Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web. 3(2–3):183-205.

Ilghami O, Nau DS, Muñoz-Avila H, Aha DW.  2005.  Learning preconditions for planning from plan traces and HTN structure. Computational Intelligence. 21(4):388-413.


Au TC, Nau DS, V.S. Subrahmanian.  2004.  Utilizing volatile external information during planning. Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI).

Yaman F, Adali S, Nau DS, Sapino M, Subrahmanian V.  2004.  Plan Databases: Model and Algebra. Foundations of Information and Knowledge Systems. 2942:302-319.

Sirin E, Parsia B, Wu D, Hendler J, Nau DS.  2004.  HTN planning for Web Service composition using SHOP2. Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web. 1(4):377-396.

Kuter U, Sirin E, Nau DS, Parsia B, Hendler J.  2004.  Information Gathering During Planning for Web Service Composition. The Semantic Web – ISWC 2004. 3298:335-349.


Dix J, Kuter U, Nau DS.  2003.  Planning in Answer Set Programming Using Ordered Task Decomposition. KI 2003: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. 2821:490-504.

Nau DS, Au TC, Ilghami O, Kuter U, Murdock JW, Wu D, Yaman F.  2003.  SHOP2: An HTN planning system. J. Artif. Intell. Res. (JAIR). 20:379-404.

Dix J, Muñoz-Avila H, Nau DS, Zhang L.  2003.  IMPACTing SHOP: Putting an AI Planner Into a Multi-Agent Environment. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. 37(4):381-407.

Wu D, Parsia B, Sirin E, Hendler J, Nau DS.  2003.  Automating DAML-S Web Services Composition Using SHOP2. The Semantic Web - ISWC 2003. 2870:195-210.


Dix J, Kuter U, Nau DS.  2002.  HTN Planning in Answer Set Programming. UMIACS-TR-2002-18

Ilghami O, Nau DS, Munoz-Avila H, Aha DW.  2002.  CaMeL: Learning method preconditions for HTN planning.

Dix J, Munoz-Avila H, Nau DS, Zhang L.  2002.  Theoretical and Empirical Aspects of a Planner in a Multi-agent Environment. Logics in Artificial Intelligence. 2424:173-185.




Gupta SK, Nau DS, Regli WC.  1998.  IMACS: a case study in real-world planning. Intelligent Systems and their Applications, IEEE. 13(3):49-60.