Questions? AskAuckland

Dr Michael Wayne Barley

BA in Mathematics (UC San Diego), MSc in Cybernetics (Brunel University, UK), PhD in Computer Science (Rutgers University, USA)


I was born in Denver, Colorado and after many detours went to San Diego for primary and intermediate schooling. I attended Central High School in London and did my undergraduate work at the University of California at San Diego. I received an MSc in Cybernetics from Brunel University in England and my PhD in Computer Science from Rutgers University in the US.

I worked for the Burroughs Corporation for most of the '70s, and for the Boeing Company before coming to the University of Auckland in 1997.

Research | Current

My primary research focuses on adaptive problem solving.  Specifically developing problem solvers that dynamically select the problem solving methods, problem representations, and search control knowledge that seem most likely to solve a given problem in the shortest amount of time. 


My secondary research interests are heuristic search in general, and more specifically bidirectional heuristic search.

Teaching | Current

Office Hours: arrange meetings by email

Postgraduate supervision

Teererai Marange


Head of the Intelligent Systems & Informatics Research Group

Departmental Seminar Coordinator


Areas of expertise

Artificial Intelligence in general, and specifically automated problem solving and domain-independent planning.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Barley, M., Riddle, P., Linares López C, Dobson, S., & Pohl, I. (2018). GBFHS: A Generalized Breadth-First Heuristic Search Algorithm. Paper presented at The Eleventh Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search, Stockholm, Sweden. 14 July - 15 July 2018. Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SOCS 2018). (pp. 9). Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patricia Riddle
  • Fuentetaja, R., Barley, M. W., Borrajo, D., Douglas, J., Franco, S., & Riddle, P. (17/6/2017). Meta-search through the space of representations and heuristics on a problem by problem basis. Poster presented at SoCS 2017: The 10th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patricia Riddle
  • Franco, S., Torralba Á, Lelis, L. H. S., & Barley, M. (2017). On creating complementary pattern databases. IJCAI International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 4302-4309. Melbourne, Australia: International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence.
  • Lelis, L., Franco, S., Abisrror, M., Barley, M., Zilles, S., & Holte, R. (2016). Heuristic subset selection in classical planning. In S. Kambhampati (Ed.) IJCAI International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2016-January, 3185-3191. New York, New York, USA.
  • Riddle, P. J., Barley, M., Franco, S., & Douglas, J. (2015). Automated transformation of PDDL representations. In L. Lelis, R. Stern (Eds.) Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search, SOCS 2015, 11-13 June 2015, Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea, Israel, 214-215. Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea, Israel: AAAI PRESS.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patricia Riddle, Jordan Douglas
  • Langley, P., Pearce, C., Barley, M., & Emery, M. (2014). Bounded rationality in problem solving: Guiding search with domain-independent heuristics. Mind and Society, 13 (1), 83-95. 10.1007/s11299-014-0143-y
  • Pearce, C., Meadows, B., Langley, P., & Barley, M. (2014). Social planning: Achieving goals by altering others' mental states. Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 402-408. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada: AAAI Press.
  • Barley, M., Franco Aixela, S. M., & Riddle, P. (2014). Overcoming the Utility Problem in Heuristic Generation: Why Time Matters. In S. chien, A. Fern, W. Ruml, M. Do (Eds.) Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, 38-46. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patricia Riddle


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 488
New Zealand

Web links