This dedicated volume of the AIPS 96 proceedings is devoted to a progress report on the ARPA / Rome Laboratory Knowledge-based Planning and Scheduling Initiative (or ARPI for short). The ARPI has been co-sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and the United States Air Force Rome Laboratory (RL) since 1989. The ARPI’s main purpose is the development of the next generation of fundamental artificial intelligence planning, scheduling, and resource allocation technology. An equally important secondary goal is to demonstrate significant capability improvements over current planning trends in operational domains. This paper provides a historical background and the founding principles and visions for the ARPI which is now in its third phase.