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223
Planning and acting in partially observable stochastic domains
 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
, 1998
"... In this paper, we bring techniques from operations research to bear on the problem of choosing optimal actions in partially observable stochastic domains. We begin by introducing the theory of Markov decision processes (mdps) and partially observable mdps (pomdps). We then outline a novel algorithm ..."
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Cited by 1095 (38 self)
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In this paper, we bring techniques from operations research to bear on the problem of choosing optimal actions in partially observable stochastic domains. We begin by introducing the theory of Markov decision processes (mdps) and partially observable mdps (pomdps). We then outline a novel algorithm for solving pomdps offline and show how, in some cases, a finitememory controller can be extracted from the solution to a pomdp. We conclude with a discussion of how our approach relates to previous work, the complexity of finding exact solutions to pomdps, and of some possibilities for finding approximate solutions.
DecisionTheoretic Planning: Structural Assumptions and Computational Leverage
 JOURNAL OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH
, 1999
"... Planning under uncertainty is a central problem in the study of automated sequential decision making, and has been addressed by researchers in many different fields, including AI planning, decision analysis, operations research, control theory and economics. While the assumptions and perspectives ..."
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Cited by 515 (4 self)
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Planning under uncertainty is a central problem in the study of automated sequential decision making, and has been addressed by researchers in many different fields, including AI planning, decision analysis, operations research, control theory and economics. While the assumptions and perspectives adopted in these areas often differ in substantial ways, many planning problems of interest to researchers in these fields can be modeled as Markov decision processes (MDPs) and analyzed using the techniques of decision theory. This paper presents an overview and synthesis of MDPrelated methods, showing how they provide a unifying framework for modeling many classes of planning problems studied in AI. It also describes structural properties of MDPs that, when exhibited by particular classes of problems, can be exploited in the construction of optimal or approximately optimal policies or plans. Planning problems commonly possess structure in the reward and value functions used to de...
An Algorithm for Probabilistic Planning
, 1995
"... We define the probabilistic planning problem in terms of a probability distribution over initial world states, a boolean combination of propositions representing the goal, a probability threshold, and actions whose effects depend on the executiontime state of the world and on random chance. Adoptin ..."
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Cited by 286 (20 self)
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We define the probabilistic planning problem in terms of a probability distribution over initial world states, a boolean combination of propositions representing the goal, a probability threshold, and actions whose effects depend on the executiontime state of the world and on random chance. Adopting a probabilistic model complicates the definition of plan success: instead of demanding a plan that provably achieves the goal, we seek plans whose probability of success exceeds the threshold. In this paper, we present buridan, an implemented leastcommitment planner that solves problems of this form. We prove that the algorithm is both sound and complete. We then explore buridan's efficiency by contrasting four algorithms for plan evaluation, using a combination of analytic methods and empirical experiments. We also describe the interplay between generating plans and evaluating them, and discuss the role of search control in probabilistic planning. 3 We gratefully acknowledge the comment...
Algorithms for Sequential Decision Making
, 1996
"... Sequential decision making is a fundamental task faced by any intelligent agent in an extended interaction with its environment; it is the act of answering the question "What should I do now?" In this thesis, I show how to answer this question when "now" is one of a finite set of ..."
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Cited by 213 (8 self)
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Sequential decision making is a fundamental task faced by any intelligent agent in an extended interaction with its environment; it is the act of answering the question "What should I do now?" In this thesis, I show how to answer this question when "now" is one of a finite set of states, "do" is one of a finite set of actions, "should" is maximize a longrun measure of reward, and "I" is an automated planning or learning system (agent). In particular,
EXACT AND APPROXIMATE ALGORITHMS FOR PARTIALLY OBSERVABLE MARKOV DECISION PROCESSES
, 1998
"... Automated sequential decision making is crucial in many contexts. In the face of uncertainty, this task becomes even more important, though at the same time, computing optimal decision policies becomes more complex. The more sources of uncertainty there are, the harder the problem becomes to solve. ..."
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Cited by 186 (2 self)
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Automated sequential decision making is crucial in many contexts. In the face of uncertainty, this task becomes even more important, though at the same time, computing optimal decision policies becomes more complex. The more sources of uncertainty there are, the harder the problem becomes to solve. In this work, we look at sequential decision making in environments where the actions have probabilistic outcomes and in which the system state is only partially observable. We focus on using a model called a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) and explore algorithms which address computing both optimal and approximate policies for use in controlling processes that are modeled using POMDPs. Although solving for the optimal policy is PSPACEcomplete (or worse), the study and improvements of exact algorithms lends insight into the optimal solution structure as well as providing a basis for approximate solutions. We present some improvements, analysis and empirical comparisons for some existing and some novel approaches for computing the optimal POMDP policy exactly. Since it is also hard (NPcomplete or worse) to derive close approximations to the optimal solution for POMDPs, we consider a number of approaches for deriving policies that yield suboptimal control and empirically explore their performance on a range of problems. These approaches
Extending Graphplan to Handle Uncertainty & Sensing Actions
 In 5th European Conference on Planning (ECP’99) (SpringerVerlag
, 1999
"... If an agent does not have complete information about the worldstate, it must reason about alternative possible states of the world and consider whether any of its actions can reduce the uncertainty. Agents controlled by a contingent planner seek to generate a robust plan, that accounts for and hand ..."
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Cited by 178 (12 self)
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If an agent does not have complete information about the worldstate, it must reason about alternative possible states of the world and consider whether any of its actions can reduce the uncertainty. Agents controlled by a contingent planner seek to generate a robust plan, that accounts for and handles all eventualities, in advance of execution. Thus a contingent plan may include sensing actions which gather information that is later used to select between different plan branches. Unfortunately, previous contingent planners suffered defects such as confused semantics, incompleteness, and inefficiency. In this paper we describe SGP, a descendant of Graphplan that solves contingent planning problems. SGP distinguishes between actions that sense the value of an unknown proposition from those that change its value. SGP does not suffer from the forms of incompleteness displayed by CNLP and Cassandra. Furthermore, SGP is relatively fast. 1
The Independent Choice Logic for modelling multiple agents under uncertainty
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1997
"... Inspired by game theory representations, Bayesian networks, influence diagrams, structured Markov decision process models, logic programming, and work in dynamical systems, the independent choice logic (ICL) is a semantic framework that allows for independent choices (made by various agents, includi ..."
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Cited by 173 (10 self)
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Inspired by game theory representations, Bayesian networks, influence diagrams, structured Markov decision process models, logic programming, and work in dynamical systems, the independent choice logic (ICL) is a semantic framework that allows for independent choices (made by various agents, including nature) and a logic program that gives the consequence of choices. This representation can be used as a specification for agents that act in a world, make observations of that world and have memory, as well as a modelling tool for dynamic environments with uncertainty. The rules specify the consequences of an action, what can be sensed and the utility of outcomes. This paper presents a possibleworlds semantics for ICL, and shows how to embed influence diagrams, structured Markov decision processes, and both the strategic (normal) form and extensive (gametree) form of games within the Thanks to Craig Boutilier and Holger Hoos for detailed comments on this paper. This work was supporte...
Valuefunction approximations for partially observable Markov decision processes
 Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
, 2000
"... Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) provide an elegant mathematical framework for modeling complex decision and planning problems in stochastic domains in which states of the system are observable only indirectly, via a set of imperfect or noisy observations. The modeling advanta ..."
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Cited by 167 (1 self)
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Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) provide an elegant mathematical framework for modeling complex decision and planning problems in stochastic domains in which states of the system are observable only indirectly, via a set of imperfect or noisy observations. The modeling advantage of POMDPs, however, comes at a price — exact methods for solving them are computationally very expensive and thus applicable in practice only to very simple problems. We focus on efficient approximation (heuristic) methods that attempt to alleviate the computational problem and trade off accuracy for speed. We have two objectives here. First, we survey various approximation methods, analyze their properties and relations and provide some new insights into their differences. Second, we present a number of new approximation methods and novel refinements of existing techniques. The theoretical results are supported by experiments on a problem from the agent navigation domain. 1.
Recent Advances in AI Planning
 AI MAGAZINE
, 1999
"... The past five years have seen dramatic advances in planning algorithms, with an emphasis on propositional methods such as Graphplan and compilers that convert planning problems into propositional CNF formulae for solution via systematic or stochastic SAT methods. Related work on the Deep Space O ..."
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Cited by 129 (0 self)
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The past five years have seen dramatic advances in planning algorithms, with an emphasis on propositional methods such as Graphplan and compilers that convert planning problems into propositional CNF formulae for solution via systematic or stochastic SAT methods. Related work on the Deep Space One spacecraft control algorithms advances our understanding of interleaved planning and execution. In this survey,we explain the latest techniques and suggest areas for future research.