Adjustable Autonomy for a Plan Management Agent

Martha Pollack, Ioannis Tsamardinos and John F. Horty

The Plan Management Agent (PMA) is an intelligent software system that is intended to aid a user in managing a potentially large and complex set of plans. Currently under development, PMA applies AI technology for modeling and reasoning about plans and processes to the development of automated support for work activities. We have developed and implemented algorithms for reasoning about richly expressive plans, which include explicit temporal constraints, temporal uncertainty, and observation actions and conditional branches. We have also developed and implemented an approach to computing the cost of a new plan in the context of existing commitments. The current version of PMA has a low level of autonomy: it makes suggestions to its user, but it does not directly act on her behalf. In this paper, we first describe the PMA system, and then briefly raise some design questions we will need to address as we increase the level of PMA’s autonomy, and have it vary with the situation.

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