Hierarchical Finite State Controllers for Generalized Planning

Segovia-Aguas J, Jiménez S, Jonsson A. Hierarchical Finite State Controllers for Generalized Planning. Proceedings of the 25th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence; 2016 July 9-15; New York, United States. Palo Alto: AAAI Press; 2016. p. 2325-41.

Finite State Controllers (FSCs) are an effective way to represent sequential plans compactly. By imposing appropriate conditions on transitions, FSCs can also represent generalized plans that solve a range of planning problems from a given domain. In this paper we introduce the concept of hierarchical FSCs for planning by allowing controllers to call other controllers. We show that hierarchical FSCs can represent generalized plans more compactly than individual FSCs. Moreover, our call mechanism makes it possible to generate hierarchical FSCs in a modular fashion, or even to apply recursion. We also introduce a compilation that enables a classical planner to generate hierarchical FSCs that solve challenging generalized planning problems. The compilation takes as input a set of planning problems from a given domain and outputs a single classical planning problem, whose solution corresponds to a hierarchical FSC.

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