Manufacturing-Operation Planning Versus AI Planning

Dana S. Nau, Satyandra K. Gupta and William C. Regli

Although AI planning techniques can potentially be useful in several manufacturing domains, this potential remains largely unrealized. Many of the issues important to manufacturing engineers have not seemed interesting to AI researchers--but in order to adapt AI planning techniques to manufacturing, it is important to address these issues in a realistic and robust manner. Furthermore, by investigating these issues, AI researchers may be able to discover principles that are relevant for AI planning in general. As an example, in this paper we describe the techniques for manufacturing-operation planning used in IMACS (Interactive Manufacturability Analysis and Critiquing System). We compare and contrast them with the techniques used in classical AI planning systems, and point out that some of the techniques used in IMACS may also be useful in other kinds of planning problems.

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