Multi-Perspective Planning - Using Domain Constraints to Support the Coordinated Development of Plans

Austin Tate, Jeff Dalton, John Levine, Steve Polyak and Gerhard Wickler
Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute
University of Edinburgh
80 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1HN, UK
Tel: UK (+44) 131 650 2732
Fax: UK (+44) 131 650 6513

O-Plan Index

An important planning capability is the generation and refinement of multiple Courses of Action (COAs) to respond to a developing crisis requiring military intervention. This proposal addresses two key areas of importance to the military planning community which also pose significant challenges for the AI planning community:

  1. generation of multiple qualitatively different courses of action dependent upon alternative assumptions concerning the emerging crisis;
  2. support for mixed initiative plan development, manipulation and use dependent upon different assumptions concerning the level of response to be made and the levels of assets to be assigned.
These generic tasks are vital to support initial development of COAs and their subsequent refinement, analysis, selection and use in crisis planning situations for Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEOs) and Air Campaigns - the target domains for the ARPA/Rome Laboratory Planning Initiative (ARPI).

The work addresses the development of plans from a number of different perspectives. It will further a number of promising and related developments in task specification, knowledge rich plan representation, explicit workflow management and plan constraint manipulation to coordinate user and system input to the planning process. The 4 main technical themes of the project are:

An innovative combination of these techniques will be demonstrated on a series of realistic problems related to NEOs and Air Campaign Planning using domain materials within the ARPI suited to research demonstration and evaluation.

The existing O-Plan framework within the ARPI forms a basis for the work. O-Plan can make use of domain constraint knowledge to direct its search for plans. O-Plan has now reached ``critical mass'' where experience being gained with realistic applications points the way towards an approach which can address the two challenges described above.

The project includes working relationships and links with other researchers in each of the 4 main technical themes. Additional ARPI-related programme work concerned with domain-relevant evaluation and tier 2 project involvement are allowed for via a responsive programmatic work package within the project plan.

O-Plan Index
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