Generating and Exploiting Cost Predictions in Heuristic State-Space Planning

  • Francesco Percassi Università degli Studi di Brescia
  • Alfonso E. Gerevini Università degli Studi di Brescia
  • Enrico Scala Università degli Studi di Brescia
  • Ivan Serina Università degli Studi di Brescia
  • Mauro Vallati University of Huddersfield


This paper proposes and investigates a novel way of combining machine learning and heuristic search to improve domain-independent planning. On the learning side, we use learning to predict the plan cost of a good solution for a given instance. On the planning side, we propose a bound-sensitive heuristic function that exploits such a prediction in a state-space planner. Our function combines the input prediction (derived inductively) with some pieces of information gathered during search (derived deductively). As the prediction can sometimes be grossly inaccurate, the function also provides means to recognise when the provided information is actually misguiding the search. Our experimental analysis demonstrates the usefulness of the proposed approach in a standard heuristic best-first search schema.