Toward Rational Planning and Replanning: Rational Reason Maintenance, Reasoning Economies, and Qualitative Preferences

Jon Doyle

Efficiency dictates that plans for large-scale distributed activities be revised incrementally, with parts of plans being revised only if the expected utility of identifying and revising the subplans improves on the expected utility of using the original plan. The problems of identifying and reconsidering the subplans affected by changed circumstances or goals are closely related to the problems of revising beliefs as new or changed information is gained. But traditional techniques of reason maintenance---the standard method for belief revision--choose revisions arbitrarily and enforce global notions of consistency and groundedness which may mean reconsidering all beliefs or plan elements at each step. To address these problems, we developed (1) revision methods aimed at revising only those beliefs and plans worth revising, and tolerating incoherence and ungroundedness when these are judged less detrimental than a costly revision effort, (2) an artificial market economy in planning and revision tasks for arriving at overall judgments of worth, and (3) a representation for qualitative preferences that permits capture of common forms of dominance information.

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