Bio


Mykel Kochenderfer is Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. Prior to joining the faculty, he was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he worked on airspace modeling and aircraft collision avoidance, with his early work leading to the establishment of the ACAS X program. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Stanford University. Prof. Kochenderfer is the director of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory (SISL), conducting research on advanced algorithms and analytical methods for the design of robust decision making systems. Of particular interest are systems for air traffic control, unmanned aircraft, and other aerospace applications where decisions must be made in uncertain, dynamic environments while maintaining safety and efficiency. Research at SISL focuses on efficient computational methods for deriving optimal decision strategies from high-dimensional, probabilistic problem representations. He is the author of "Decision Making under Uncertainty: Theory and Application" from MIT Press. He is a third generation pilot.

Academic Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Assistant Professor (By courtesy), Computer Science
  • Member, Bio-X

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, Informatics (2006)
  • M.S., Stanford University, Computer Science (2003)
  • B.S., Stanford University, Computer Science (2003)

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • A comparison of Monte Carlo tree search and rolling horizon optimization for large-scale dynamic resource allocation problems European Journal of Operational Research Bertsimas, D., Griffith, J., Gupta, V., Kochenderfer, M. J., Misic, V. V. 2017; 263 (2): 664-678
  • Belief State Planning for Autonomously Navigating Urban Intersections IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV) Bouton, M., Cosgun, A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2017

    View details for DOI 10.1109/IVS.2017.7995818

  • Automated Dynamic Resource Allocation for Wildfire Suppression Lincoln Laboratory Journal Griffith, J., Kochenderfer, M. J., Moss, R. J., Misic, V. V., Gupta, V., Bertsimas, D. 2017; 22 (2): 38-59
  • POMDPs.jl: A Framework for Sequential Decision Making under Uncertainty Journal of Machine Learning Research Egorov, M., Sunberg, Z. N., Balaban, E., Wheeler, T. A., Gupta, J. K., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2017; 18 (26): 1-5
  • Efficient Decision-Theoretic Target Localization International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) Dressel, L., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2017
  • Learning Discrete Bayesian Networks from Continuous Data Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research Chen, Y., Wheeler, T. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2017; 59: 103-132

    View details for DOI 10.1613/jair.5371

  • Probabilistic Airport Acceptance Rate Prediction AIAA Modeling and Simulation Conference Cox, J., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016

    View details for DOI 10.2514/6.2016-0165

  • Detection of hypervelocity impact radio frequency pulses through prior constrained source separation Radio Science Nuttall, A., Kochenderfer, M., Close, S. 2016; 51

    View details for DOI 10.1002/2016RS006108

  • Multi-Rotor Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes AIAA Modeling and Simulation Conference Mueller, E., Kochenderfer, M. J. AIAA. 2016

    View details for DOI 10.2514/6.2016-3673

  • Stochastic Video Prediction with Conditional Density Estimation Workshop on Action and Anticipation for Visual Learning Shu, R., Brofos, J., Zhang, F., Bui, H., Ghavamzadeh, M., Kochenderfer, M. 2016
  • Simulation Comparison of Collision Avoidance Algorithms for Small Multi-Rotor Aircraft AIAA Modeling and Simulation Conference Mueller, E., Kochenderfer, M. J. AIAA. 2016

    View details for DOI 10.2514/6.2016-3674

  • Policy Compression for Aircraft Collision Avoidance Systems Digital Avionics Systems Conference Julian, K., Lopez, J., Brush, J. S., Owen, M., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
  • Analysis of Microscopic Behavior Models for Probabilistic Modeling of Driver Behavior IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Robbel, P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
  • Factor Graph Scene Distributions for Automotive Safety Analysis IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
  • Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aircraft using Coordination Tables Digital Avionics Systems Conference Tompa, R. E., Wulfe, B., Owen, M., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
  • Customer Simulation for Direct Marketing Experiments IEEE International Conference on Data Science and Advanced Analytics Tkachenko, Y., Kochenderfer, M. J., Kluza, K. 2016
  • Optimized and Trusted Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles using Approximate Dynamic Programming IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation Sunberg, Z., Kochenderfer, M., Pavone, M. 2016
  • Dynamic Logic Selection for Unmanned Aircraft Separation Digital Avionics Systems Conference Owen, M. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
  • Markov Decision Process-Based Distributed Conflict Resolution for Drone Air Traffic Management Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Ong, H., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.G001822

  • Learning Traffic Patterns at Small Airports from Flight Tracks IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems Mahboubi, Z., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016
  • Improving Aircraft Collision Risk Estimation Using the Cross-Entropy Method Journal of Air Transportation Kim, Y., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016; 24 (2): 55-61

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.D0020

  • Ground Delay Program Planning using Markov Decision Processes Journal of Aerospace Information Systems Cox, J., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016; 13 (3): 134-142

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.I010387

  • Decision-Theoretic Approach to Designing Cyber Resilient Systems IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications Mehta, V., Rowe, P., Lewis, G., Magalhaes, A., Kochenderfer, M. IEEE. 2016
  • Analysis of Recurrent Neural Networks for Probabilistic Modeling of Driver Behavior IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems Morton, J., Wheeler, T. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016
  • Target Surveillance in Adversarial Environments using POMDPs AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence Egorov, M., Kochenderfer, M. J., Uudmae, J. J. 2016
  • Exploiting Anonymity in Approximate Linear Programming: Scaling to Large Multiagent MDPs AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence Robbel, P., Oliehoek, F. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016
  • Signal Source Localization using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conference, Dressel, L., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015
  • Initial Scene Configurations for Highway Traffic Propagation IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Robbel, P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/ITSC.2015.55

  • Optimal Aircraft Rerouting During Commercial Space Launches Digital Avionics Systems Conference Tompa, R. E., Kochenderfer, M. J., Cole, R., Kuchar, J. K. IEEE. 2015
  • Continuous Time Autonomous Air Traffic Control for Non-Towered Airports IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Mahboubi, Z., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/CDC.2015.7402670

  • Autonomous Air Traffic Control for Non-Towered Airports Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar Mahboubi, Z., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015
  • Optimizing a Collision-Avoidance System for Closely Spaced Parallel Operations Journal of Aerospace Information Systems Smith, K. A., Vela, A. E., Kochenderfer, M. J., Olson, W. A. 2015; 12 (10): 618-633

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.I010352

  • Bayesian Preference Elicitation for Multiobjective Engineering Design Optimization Journal of Aerospace Information Systems Lepird, J. R., Owen, M. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015; 12 (10): 634-645

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.I010363

  • Stress Testing Collision Avoidance Systems using Monte Carlo Tree Search Digital Avionics Systems Conference Lee, R., Kochenderfer, M. J., Mengshoel, O. J., Brat, G. P., Owen, M. P. IEEE. 2015
  • Optimization Approaches to the Single Airport Ground Holding Problem Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Cox, J., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015; 38 (12): 2399-2406

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.G001081

  • A Probabilistic Framework for Microscopic Traffic Propagation IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Robbel, P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/ITSC.2015.52

  • Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Theory and Application Kochenderfer, M. J. MIT Press. 2015
  • Optimal Lost-Link Policies for Unmanned Aircraft Digital Avionics Systems Conference Kim, Y., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015
  • Control of Epidemics on Graphs IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Ho, C., Kochenderfer, M. J., Mehta, V., Caceres, R. S. IEEE. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/CDC.2015.7402874

  • Error Model Estimation for Airborne Beacon-Based Surveillance IET Radar, Sonar and Navigation Panken, A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2014; 8 (6): 667-675
  • Collision Avoidance System Optimization for Closely Spaced Parallel Operations through Surrogate Modeling AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Smith, K., Kochenderfer, M. J., Olson, W., Vela, A. 2013
  • Decentralized Control of Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Amato, C., Chowdhary, G., Geramifard, A., Ure, N. K., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2013
  • Fielding a Sense and Avoid Capability for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Policy, Standards, Technology, and Safety Modeling Air Traffic Control Quarterly Cole, R., Kochenderfer, M. J., Weibel, R., Edwards, M., Griffith, J. D. 2013; 21 (1): 5-27
  • Traffic Alert Optimization for Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Puntin, B., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2013
  • Compression of Optimal Value Functions for Markov Decision Processes Data Compression Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Monath, N. 2013
  • Optimizing the Next Generation Collision Avoidance System for Safe, Suitable, and Acceptable Operational Performance Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar Holland, J. E., Kochenderfer, M. J., Olson, W. A. 2013
  • Vertical State Estimation for Aircraft Collision Avoidance with Quantized Measurements Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Asmar, D. M., Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2013; 35 (6): 1797-1802
  • Decomposition Methods for Optimized Collision Avoidance with Multiple Threats Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2012; 35 (2): 398-405
  • Next Generation Airborne Collision Avoidance System Lincoln Laboratory Journal Kochenderfer, M. J., Holland, J. E., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2012; 19 (1): 17-33
  • Predicting the Behavior of Interacting Humans by Fusing Data from Multiple Sources Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence Schlicht, E. J., Lee, R., Wolpert, D. H., Kochenderfer, M. J., Tracey, B. 2012
  • Hazard Alerting Based on Probabilistic Models Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2012; 35 (2): 442-450
  • Collision Avoidance for General Aviation IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine Billingsley, T. B., Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2012; 27 (7): 4-12
  • A New Approach for Designing Safer Collision Avoidance Systems Air Traffic Control Quarterly Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Weibel, R. E. 2012; 20 (1): 27-45
  • Partially-Controlled Markov Decision Processes for Collision Avoidance Systems International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2011
  • Unmanned Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Continuous-State POMDPs Robotics: Science and Systems Bai, H., Hsu, D., Kochenderfer, M. J., Lee, W. S. 2011
  • Analysis of Open-loop and Closed-loop Planning for Aircraft Collision Avoidance IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011
  • Accounting for State Uncertainty in Collision Avoidance Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011; 34 (4): 951-960

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.53172

  • Collision Avoidance System Optimization with Probabilistic Pilot Response Models American Control Conference Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011
  • Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Monte Carlo Real-Time Belief Space Search Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems Wolf, T. B., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011; 64 (2): 277-298
  • Position Validation Strategies using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Shih, K. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Rose, C. E., Elder, T. R. 2011
  • Efficiently Estimating Ambient Near Mid-Air Collision Risk for Unmanned Aircraft AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference Maki, E., Weinert, A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2010
  • Robustness of Optimized Collision Avoidance Logic to Modeling Errors IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Radecki, P. 2010
  • On Estimating Mid-Air Collision Risk AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Griffith, J. D., Olszta, J. E. 2010
  • A Decision-Theoretic Approach to Developing Robust Collision Avoidance Logic IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2010
  • Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aircraft using Markov Decision Processes AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Temizer, S., Kochenderfer, M. J., Kaelbling, L. P., Lozano-Perez, T. 2010
  • Improved Monte Carlo Sampling for Conflict Probability Estimation AIAA Non-Deterministic Approaches Conference Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J., Williams, R. E. 2010
  • Airspace Encounter Models for Estimating Collision Risk Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Kochenderfer, M. J., Edwards, M., Espindle, L. P., Kuchar, J. K., Griffith, J. D. 2010; 33 (2): 487-499

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.44867

  • Classification of Primary Radar Tracks using Gaussian Mixture Models IET Radar, Sonar and Navigation Espindle, L. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2009; 3 (6): 559-568
  • Hazard Alerting using Line-of-Sight Rate AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Griffith, J. D., Kuchar, J. K. 2008
  • A Comprehensive Aircraft Encounter Model of the National Airspace System Lincoln Laboratory Journal Kochenderfer, M. J., Espindle, L. P., Kuchar, J. K., Griffith, J. D. 2008; 17 (2): 41-53
  • Electro-Optical System Analysis for Sense and Avoid AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Griffith, J. D., Kochenderfer, M. J., Kuchar, J. K. 2008
  • Adaptive Modeling and Planning for Reactive Agents AAAI National Conference on Artificial Intelligence Kochenderfer, M. J. 2005
  • Common Sense Data Acquisition for Indoor Mobile Robots AAAI National Conference on Artificial Intelligence Gupta, R., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2004
  • Evolving Hierarchical and Recursive Teleo-Reactive Programs through Genetic Programming European Conference on Genetic Programming Kochenderfer, M. J. Springer. 2003