AI Planning: Systems and Techniques

  • James A. Hendler
  • Austin Tate
  • Mark Drummond


This article reviews research in the development of plan generation systems. Our goal is to familiarize the reader with some of the important problems that have arisen in the design of planning systems and to discuss some of the many solutions that have been developed in the over 30 years of research in this area. In this article, we broadly cover the major ideas in the field of AI planning and show the direction in which some current research is going. We define some of the terms commonly used in the planning literature, describe some of the basic issues coming from the design of planning systems, and survey results in the area. Because such tasks are virtually never ending, and thus, any finite document must be incomplete, we provide references to connect each idea to the appropriate literature and allow readers access to the work most relevant to their own research or applications.