Planning with Communicating Automata

Until today, planning operators are mostly considered
as atomic transitions that change the value of boolean or numeric
state variables. This remains also true if nondeterministic effects
are added to operator descriptions. Solely, the compound tasks used in
HTN planners encapsulate more complex behavior, but it is difficult to
model nondeterminism and iterations using HTN representations. In many
real-world applications however, in particular in technical
environments such as hardware and software systems (for example
networks, server farms, or embedded controllers), more
expressive planning operators that encapsulate nondeterministic and
iterative behavior are needed.

In this paper, we propose to use nondeterministic communicating
automata as the operators for a planning system. We show how to model
such operators, define the planning problem with communicating
automata and present a first, preliminary planner involving model
checking techniques.

By: Jana Koehler, Biplav Srivastava

Published in: RI08006 in 2008


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