The 1998 AI Planning Systems Competition

Drew M. McDermott


The 1998 Planning Competition at the AI Planning Systems Conference was the first of its kind. Its goal was to create planning domains that a wide variety of planning researchers could agree on to make comparison among planners more meaningful, measure overall progress in the field, and set up a framework for long-term creation of a repository of problems in a standard notation. A rules committee for the competition was created in 1997 and had long discussions on how the contest should go. One result of these discussions was the pddl notation for planning domains. This notation was used to set up a set of planning problems and get a modest problem repository started. As a result, five planning systems were able to compete when the contest took place in June 1998. All these systems solved problems in the strips framework, with some slight extensions. The attempt to find domains for other forms of planning foundered because of technical and organizational problems. In spite of this problem, the competition achieved its goals partially in that it con-firmed that substantial progress had occurred in some subfields of planning, and it allowed qualitative comparison among different planning algorithms. It is urged that the competition continue to take place and to evolve.

Full Text:



Copyright © 2014, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( All rights reserved.