Don Perlis

3135 A.V. Williams Building
(301) 405-2685
(301) 405-2685
Ph.D., New York University (Mathematics) and Ph.D., University of Rochester (Computer Science)

Don Perlis is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and a member of the university's Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS).

His research is mostly in artificial intelligence, including commonsense reasoning; flexible, domain-general, self-adjusting autonomous systems; and philosophical issues surrounding language, the mind and consciousness. The primary current thrust aims to test an ambitious "commonsense-core hypothesis"— that there is a modest number of general-purpose anomaly-handling strategies that humans use (and that machines can be programmed to use) which are sufficient to allow us to muddle through a multitude of daily situations for which we are not highly trained. This should then allow the development of robust and flexible autonomous systems that learn from their mistakes, rather than totally break down.

Perlis has given keynote lectures nationally and internationally, and has published more than 150 articles, some of which are among the most-cited in their respective journals.

He has doctorate degrees in mathematics from New York University and in computer science from the University of Rochester.



Perlis D.  2011.  Robotson Crusoe–or–What Is Common Sense? Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning — Papers from the AAAI 2011 Spring Symposium.


Shahri H H, Dinalankara W, Fults S, Wilson S, Perlis D, Schmill M, Oates T, Josyula D, Anderson M.  2010.  The Metacognitive Loop: An Architecture for Building Robust Intelligent Systems. 2010 AAAI Fall Symposium Series.


Anderson ML, Perlis D.  2009.  What puts the “meta” in metacognition? Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 32(02):138-139.


Anderson ML, Fults S, Josyula DP, Oates T, Perlis D, Wilson S, Wright D.  2008.  A self-help guide for autonomous systems. AI Magazine. 29(2):67-67.

Anderson ML, Gomaa W, Grant J, Perlis D.  2008.  Active logic semantics for a single agent in a static world. Artificial Intelligence. 172(8-9):1045-1063.

Schmill MD, Oates T, Anderson M, Fults S, Josyula D, Perlis D, Wilson S.  2008.  The role of metacognition in robust AI systems. AAAI-08 Workshop on Metareasoning,(Chicago, IL).


Schmill M, Josyula D, Anderson ML, Wilson S, Oates T, Perlis D, Fults S.  2007.  Ontologies for reasoning about failures in AI systems. Proceedings from the Workshop on Metareasoning in Agent Based Systems at the Sixth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Sytems.

Josyula DP, Fults S, Anderson ML, Wilson S, Perlis D.  2007.  Application of MCL in a dialog agent. Third Language and Technology Conference.

Anderson ML, Schmill M, Oates T, Perlis D, Josyula D, Wright D, Human SWTDN, Metacognition L, Fults S, Josyula DP.  2007.  Hood College, Master of Business Administration, 2005 Hood College, Master of Science (Computer Science), 2001 Hood College, Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), 1998 Frederick Community College, Associate in Arts (Business Administration), 1993. Proceedings of the Workshop on Metareasoning in Agent-Based Systems.

Anderson ML, Schmill M, Oates T, Perlis D, Josyula D, Wright D, Wilson S.  2007.  Toward domain-neutral human-level metacognition. AAAI Spring Symposium on Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning.


Anderson ML, Oates T, Chong W, Perlis D.  2006.  Enhancing reinforcement learning with metacognitive monitoring and control for improved perturbation tolerance. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. 18(3):387-411.

Anderson ML, Oates T, Chong W, Perlis D.  2006.  The metacognitive loop I: Enhancing reinforcement learning with metacognitive monitoring and control for improved perturbation tolerance. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. 18(3):387-411.


Grant J, Kraus S, Perlis D.  2005.  Formal approaches to teamwork. We Will Show Them: Essays in Honour of Dov Gabbay. 1:39-68.

Perlis D, Norvig P.  2005.  Introduction to the special review issue. Artificial Intelligence. 169(2):103-103.

Anderson ML, Perlis D.  2005.  The roots of self-awareness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. 4(3):297-333.

Josyula DP, Anderson ML, Perlis D.  2005.  Metacognition for dropping and reconsidering intentions. AAAI Spring Symposium on Metacognition in Computation.

Anderson ML, Gomaa W, Grant J, Perlis D.  2005.  On the reasoning of real-world agents: Toward a semantics for active logic. 7-th Annual Symposium on the Logical Formalization of Commonsense Reasoning.


Anderson ML, Josyula D, Perlis D, Purang K.  2004.  Active logic for more effective human-computer interaction and other commonsense applications. Proceedings of the Workshop Empirically Successful First-Order Reasoning, International Joint Conference on Automated Reasoning.

Josyula DP, Anderson ML, Perlis D.  2004.  Domain-independent reason-enhanced controller for task-oriented systems-DIRECTOR. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ARTIFICIAL IN℡LIGENCE.


Josyula DP, Anderson ML, Perlis D.  2003.  Towards domain-independent, task-oriented, conversational adequacy. INTERNATIONAL JOINT CONFERENCE ON ARTIFICIAL IN℡LIGENCE. 18:1637-1638.

Chong W, O'Donovan-Anderson M, Okamoto Y, Perlis D.  2003.  Seven days in the life of a robotic agent. Innovative Concepts for Agent-Based Systems.

Hennacy K, Swamy N, Perlis D.  2003.  RGL study in a hybrid real-time system. Proceedings of the IASTED NCI.


Barfourosh AA, Nezhad HRM, Anderson M, Perlis D.  2002.  ALLI: An Information Integration System Based on Active Logic Framework. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Management Information Systems, Greece.

Anderson ML, Perlis D.  2002.  Symbol systems. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science.

Anderson ML, Josyula DP, Okamoto YA, Perlis D.  2002.  Time-situated agency: Active logic and intention formation. in: Workshop on Cognitive Agents, 25th German Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Anderson ML, Okamoto Y, Josyula D, Perlis D.  2002.  The use-mention distinction and its importance to HCI. Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialog.


Bhatia M, Chi P, Chong W, Josyula DP, Okamoto Y, Perlis D, Purang K.  2001.  Handling uncertainty with active logic. In Proceedings, AAAI Fall Symposium on Uncertainty in Computation.


Perlis D.  2000.  What does it take to refer? a reply to Bojadziev Journal of Consciousness Studies. 7(5):67-69.

Grant J, Kraus S, Perlis D.  2000.  A logic for characterizing multiple bounded agents. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. 3(4):351-387.

Perlis D.  2000.  What does it take to refer. Journal of Consciousness Studies. 7(5):67-9.

Purang K, Traum D, Purushothaman D, Chong W, Okamato Y, Perlis D.  2000.  Meta-reasoning for intelligent dialog repair.


Andersen C, Traum D, Purang K, Purushothaman D, Perlis D.  1999.  Mixed initiative dialogue and intelligence via active logic. proceedings of the AAAI99 Workshop on Mixed-Initiative Intelligence.

Purang K, Purushothaman D, Traum D, Andersen C, Perlis D.  1999.  Practical reasoning and plan execution with active logic. Proceedings of the IJCAI-99 Workshop on Practical Reasoning and Rationality.

Edu CU, Purang K, Purushothaman D, Traum D, Andersen C, Perlis D.  1999.  Fkpurang, darsana, traum, cfa, perlisg@ cs. umd. edu. In Proceedings of the IJCAI’99 Workshop on Practical Reasoning and Rationality.


Miller M, Perlis D, Purang K.  1998.  Defaults Denied. UMIACS-TR-96-61


Nirkhe M, Kraus S, Miller M, Perlis D.  1997.  How to (plan to) meet a deadline between now and then. Journal of Logic and Computation. 7(1):109-109.

Gurney J, Perlis D, Purang K.  1997.  Interpreting presuppositions using active logic: From contexts to utterances. Computational Intelligence. 13(3):391-413.

Perlis D.  1997.  Consciousness as self-function. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 4. 5(6):509-525.

Perlis D.  1997.  Sources of, and exploiting, inconsistency: preliminary report. JOURNAL OF APPLIED NONCLASSICAL LOGICS. 7:13-24.


Miller M, Perlis D.  1996.  Automated inference in active logics. JOURNAL OF APPLIED NONCLASSICAL LOGICS. 6:9-28.


Perlis D.  1995.  Consciousness and complexity: the cognitive quest. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. 14(2):309-321.

Gordon D, Perlis D.  1995.  Explicitly Biased Generalization. Goal-Driven Learning.

Perlis D.  1995.  Papers on Context: Theory and Practice. Fundamenta Informaticae. 23(2):145-148.


Perlis D, V.S. Subrahmanian.  1994.  Meta-languages, reflection principles and self-reference. Handbook of logic in artificial intelligence and logic programming.

Perlis D, Miller M, Perlis D.  1994.  What Experts Deny, Novices Must Understand. In 3rd International Workshop on Human and Machine Cognition.

Perlis D, Miller M, Perlis D.  1994.  What Experts Deny, Novices Must Understand. In 3rd International Workshop on Human and Machine Cognition.

Elgot-drapkin J, Gordon D, Kraus S, Miller M, Nirkhe M, Perlis D.  1994.  Calibrating, Counting, Grounding, Grouping. FS-94-03


Perlis D.  1993.  Logic and Artificial Intelligence: A New Synthesis? ANNALES-SOCIETATIS MATHEMATICAE POLONAE SERIES 4. 18:297-297.

Miller M, Perlis D.  1993.  Presentations and this and that: logic in action. Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Boulder, Colorado. 251

Elgot-drapkin J, Kraus S, Miller M, Nirkhe M, Perlis D.  1993.  Vacuum-logic. Proceedings of AAAI 1993 Fall Symposium Series: Instantiating Real-World Agents.


Kraus S, Perlis D, Horty JF.  1991.  Reasoning about ignorance: A note on the Bush-Gorbachev problem. Fundam. Inform.. 15(3-4):325-332.

Perlis D, Elgot-Drapkin JJ, Miller M.  1991.  Stop the world—I want to think. International Journal of Intelligent Systems. 6(4):443-456.

Nirkhe M, Kraus S, Perlis D.  1991.  Fully deadline-coupled planning: One step at a time. Methodologies for Intelligent Systems.

Elgot-drapkin J, Miller M, Perlis D.  1991.  Memory, reason and time: the Step-Logic approach. Philosophy and AI: Essays at the Interface.

Etherington DW, Kraus S, Perlis D.  1991.  Nonmonotonicity and the scope of reasoning. Artificial Intelligence. 52(3):221-261.

Kraus S, Nirkhe M, Perlis D.  1991.  Deadline-coupled real-time planning. Innovative approaches to planning, scheduling and control: proceedings of a Workshop [on Innovative Approaches to Planning, Scheduling, and Control], held at San Diego, California, November 5-8, 1991.


Perlis D.  1990.  Thing and Thought. Knowledge Representation and Defeasible Reasoning. Kluwer.

Etherington DW, Kraus S, Perlis D.  1990.  Limited scope and circumscriptive reasoning. International Journal of Expert Systems. 3(3):207-217.

Perlis D.  1990.  Intentionality and defaults. International J. of Expert Systems. 3:345-354.