On Planning with Programs that Sense

Jorge A. Baier, Sheila A. McIlraith

In this paper we address the problem of planning by composing programs, rather than or in addition to primitive actions. The programs that form the building blocks of such plans can, themselves, contain both sensing and world-altering actions. Our work is primarily motivated by the problem of automated Web service composition, since Web services are programs that can sense and act. Our further motivation is to understand how to exploit macro-actions in existing operator-based planners that plan with sensing. We study this problem in the language of the situation calculus, appealing to Golog to represent our programs. To this end, we propose an offline execution semantics for Golog programs with sensing. We then propose a compilation method that transforms our action theory with programs into a new theory where programs are replaced by primitive actions. This enables us to use state-of-the-art, operator-based planning techniques to plan with programs that sense for a restricted but compelling class of programs. Finally, we discuss the applicability of these results to existing operator-based planners that support sensing and illustrate the computational advantage of planning with programs that sense via an experiment. The work presented here is cast in the situation calculus to facilitate formal analysis. Nevertheless, both the results and the algorithm can be trivially modified to take PDDL as input and output. This work has broad applicability to planning with programs or macro-actions with or without sensing.

Subjects: 11. Knowledge Representation; 1.11 Planning

Submitted: Mar 7, 2006


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