AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Automatic Derivation of Finite-State Machines for Behavior Control
Blai Bonet, Hector Palacios, Hector Geffner

Last modified: 2010-07-05


Finite-state controllers represent an effective action selection mechanisms widely used in domains such as video-games and mobile robotics. In contrast to the policies obtained from MDPs and POMDPs, finite-state controllers have two advantages: they are often extremely compact, and they are general, applying to many problems and not just one. A limitation of finite-state controllers, on the other hand, is that they are written by hand. In this paper, we address this limitation, presenting a method for deriving controllers automatically from models. The models represent a class of contingent problems where actions are deterministic and some fluents are observable. The problem of deriving a controller is converted into a conformant problem that is solved using classical planners, taking advantage of a complete translation into classical planning introduced recently. The controllers derived are ‘general’ in the sense that they do not solve the original problem only, but many variations as well, including changes in the size of the problem or in the uncertainty of the initial situation and action effects. Several experiments illustrating the automatic derivation of controllers are presented.


Controllers; Robotics; Contingent planning; Conformant planning; Translation; POMDP

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