CPlan: A Constraint Programming Approach to Planning

Peter van Beek and Xinguang Chen, University of Alberta

Constraint programming, a methodology for solving difficult combinatorial problems by representing them as constraint satisfaction problems, has shown that a general purpose search algorithm based on constraint propagation combined with an emphasis on modeling can solve large, practical scheduling problems. Given the success of constraint programming on scheduling problems and the similarity of scheduling to planning, the question arises, would a constraint programming approach work as well in planning? In this paper, we present evidence that a constraint programming approach to planning does indeed work well and has the advantage in terms of time and space efficiency over the current state-of-the-art planners.

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