Appropriate Commitment for Reactive Planning

How can an agent commit appropriately to future behavior, while remaining ready to add new goals and revise its plans when the situation changes?

A real-world agent must commit to some future actions, but if it over-commits, its plan will fail, leading to the wasted work of plan repair or replanning. Reactive planners do not commit at all, and so avoid replanning, but cannot easily coordinate with others or ensure efficiency. Classical planners offer efficiency, but commit to everything, and thus make mistakes in uncertain worlds and have to replan when the situation changes.

The Appropriate Commitment Reactive Planning (ACP) Project is a sub-project of the Orca project and a middle-ground approach to planning that is suitable for dynamic real-world domains. ACP is based on making appropriate commitments based on important features of the world. We consider commitments to be appropriate if they are based on features of the world that are important enough to justify the risk of the commitment being invalidated.

The ACP approach involves utilizing a flexible, dynamic representation of an agent’s plans, with organizational components that make explicit important interactions between goals and actions. An activation model is used to decide when and how to add detail to the plan and choosing the next action to execute.

(PhD project of Erik Albert)

Selected Publications:

Organizational strategies for informed commitment in a reactive mission planner, Erik Albert (2009). In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology (UUST). (Also listed as Technical report 2010-1, Department of Computer Science, University of Maine, 5752 Neville Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5752.)

Appropriate commitment reactive planning, Erik Albert, Elise H. Turner, and Roy M. Turner (2008). In ICAPS 2008 Workshop on A Reality Check for Planning and Scheduling Under Uncertainty.

Appropriate commitment planning for AUV control, Erik Albert, Elise H. Turner, and Roy M. Turner (2007). In Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology (UUST’07).

See the MaineSAIL publications page for a complete list.