AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Composition of Flow-Based Applications with HTN Planning
Shirin Sohrabi, Octavian Udrea, Anand Ranganathan, Anton Riabov

Last modified: 2012-07-15


Goal-driven automated composition of software components is an important problem with applications in Web service composition and stream processing systems. The popular approach to address this problem is to build the composition automatically using Artificial Intelligence planning. However, it is shown that some of these popular planning approaches may neither be feasible nor scalable for many real large-scale flow-based applications. Recent advances have proven that the automated composition problem can take advantage of expert knowledge restricting the ways in which different reusable components can be composed. This knowledge can be represented using an extensible composition template or pattern. In prior work, a flow pattern language called Cascade and its corresponding specialized planner have shown the best performance in these domains. In this paper, we propose to address this problem using Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning. To this end, we propose an automated approach of creating an HTN-based problem from the Cascade representation of the flow patterns. The resulting technique not only allows us to use the HTN planning paradigm and its many advantages including added expressivity but also enables optimization and customization of composition with respect to preferences and constraints. Further, we propose and develop a lookahead heuristic and show that it significantly reduces the planning time. We have performed extensive experimentation in the context of the stream processing application and evaluated applicability and performance of our approach.

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