Plan Stability: Replanning versus Plan Repair

Maria Fox, Alfonso Gerevini, Derek Long, Ivan Serina

The ultimate objective in planning is to construct plans for execution. However, when a plan is executed in a real environment it can encounter differences between the expected and actual context of execution. These differences can manifest as divergences between the expected and observed states of the world, or as a change in the goals to be achieved by the plan. In both cases, the old plan must be replaced with a new one. In replacing the plan an important consideration is plan stability. We compare two alternative strategies for achieving the {\em stable} repair of a plan: one is simply to replan from scratch and the other is to adapt the existing plan to the new context. We present arguments to support the claim that plan stability is a valuable property. We then propose an implementation, based on LPG, of a plan repair strategy that adapts a plan to its new context. We demonstrate empirically that our plan repair strategy achieves more stability than replanning and can produce repaired plans more efficiently than replanning.


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