Planet Node Description: The AI Applications Institute at The University of Edinburgh


Node Overview | Links to Planning Work at Edinburgh | Node Members | PLANET Related Activities | Useful Planning Links


Edinburgh is one of the top centres worldwide for AI planning and scheduling research. Work over a 30 year period at Edinburgh has lead to innovations in planning techniques and to the creation of several practical planning systems used on a variety of specific applications. The Edinburgh team represents one of the largest and most active groups engaged in AI planning research worldwide and maintains active international links with governments, industry, academics, standards bodies, and professional institutions.

Early work included extension to OR techniques to perform heuristically guided search and the use of domain information to guide search. The Edinburgh Nonlin system in the mid 1970s put in place a number of techniques now commonplace in major planners characterised as "hierarchical partial-order planners" or "hierarchical task network planners". The techniques include Goal Structure Analysis and recording during search; domain model capture and use to guide and prune search; combining AI and incremental OR methods for planning and scheduling; etc. Applications of Nonlin included electricity turbine overhaul, spacecraft mission sequencing, and navel replenishment at sea.

Current work includes The O-Plan (the Open PLANning Architecture) Project which is exploring issues of coordinated command, planning and control. The objective of the O-Plan Project is to develop an architecture within which different agents have command (task assignment), planning and execution monitoring
roles. Each agent has a structure which separates the following components:

The main contribution of the O-Plan research is to provide a complete vision of a more modular and flexible planning and control system incorporating AI methods. We have demonstrated our approach on realistic problems related to military logistics. Our approach will have an impact in the following ways:

Within the agent-based O-Plan architecture we have created specific agents to provide a domain-independent general planning and control framework with the
ability to embed detailed knowledge of the domain. The system combines a number of techniques:





Page maintained by Peter Jarvis
Last updated: 1 Oct 1998