A. El Fallah Seghrouchni, Universite Paris-Nord, and S. Haddad, Universite Paris-Dauphine, France
Distributed planning is fundamental to the generation of co-operative activities in Multi-Agent Systems. It requires both an adequate plan representation and efficient interacting methods allowing agents to coordinate their plans. This paper proposes a recursive model for the representation and the handling of plans by means of Recursive Petri Nets (RPN) which support the specification of concurrent activities, reasoning about simultaneous actions and continuous processes, a theory of verification and mechanisms of transformation (e. g. abstraction, refinement, merging). The main features of the RPN formalism are domain independence, broad coverage of interacting situations and operational coordination. This paper also provides an approach to the interleaving of execution and planning which is based on the RPN semantics and gives some significant methods allowing plan management in distributed planning. It goes on to show how this approach can be used to coordinate agents’ plans in a shared and dynamic environment.