Fast Transformation of Temporal Plans for Efficient Execution

Ioannis Tsamardinos, Nicola Muscettola, Paul Morris

Temporal plans permit significant exibility in specifying the occurrence time of events. Plan execution can make good use of that exibility. However, the advantage of execution exibility is counterbalanced by the cost during execution of propagating the time of occurrence of events throughout the exible plan. To minimize execution latency, this propagation needs to be very efficient. Previous work showed that every temporal plan can be reformulated as a dispatchable plan, i.e., one for which propagation to immediate neighbors is sufficient. A simple algorithm was given that finds a dispatchable plan with a minimum number of edges in cubic time and quadratic space. In this paper, we focus on the efficiency of the reformulation process, and improve on that result. A new algorithm is presented that uses linear space and has time complexity equivalent to Johnson’s algorithm for all-pairs shortest-path problems. Experimental evidence confirms the practical effectiveness of the new algorithm. For example, on a large commercial application, the performance is improved by at least two orders of magnitude. We further show that the dispatchable plan, already minimal in the total number of edges, can also be made minimal in the maximum number of edges incoming or outgoing at any node.

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