IPCA, an Architecture for Planning and Real-time Plan Execution

Bill Punch, David Decker, Jon Sticklen, James McDowell

IPCA (Intelligent Process Control Architecture) is an archi-tecture for plan development and plan execution. IPCA is rooted in the Generic Task (GT) approach to knowledge-based systems and incorporates plan generation and real-time plan execution momtoring components. The plan gen-eration component produces a state-based process control plan representation which typically contains a collection of possible paths from initial to desired process states. Selec-tion of the precise path taken through the process control plan is determined by a plan execution monitoring compo-nent. The plan execution monitor incrementally determines in real time appropriate partial paths through the process control plan based on sensory input gathered from real-time process monitoring. This real-time selection of appropriate plan fragments and control methods contained in the pro-cess control plan is facilitated through the use of a sponsor-selector mechanism. The usefulness of this approach to intelligent control is demonstrated by applying the architec-ture to the control of a microwave-based composite mate-rial fabrication process. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of IPCA in this domain.


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