Hierarchical Task-Network Planning for Process Planning for Manufacture of Microwave Modules

S. J. J. Smith, D. S. Nau, K. Hebbar, I. Minis

This paper reports on the development of a planning system for an important industrial planning problem. This planner, which is one of the modules in an integrated design-and-planning system called EDAPS, provides an integrated approach to process planning in both the electronic and mechanical domains, specifically in the man-ufaeture of microwave transmit-receive (T/R) modules. Our planner is based on a modified version of HTN planning. We provide an overview of its operation, and compare and contrast it to how HTN planning is normally done. This same modified HTN planning strategy appears to be useful in a variety of application domains. For example, as described in Smith, Nau, and Throop (1996), the basic approach has been used successfully for declarer play in the game of contract bridge. We discuss why this approach is successful in two such diverse application domains.

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