How Can a Structured Representation of Capabilities Help in Planning?

Yolanda Gil and Jim Blythe

In order to support awide range of planning-related activities, we argue that plan and action representations must move to a more expressive language for goals and capabilities than is found in most current systems. A structured representation for capabilities can make explicit a hierarchy of capabilities based on subsumption, resulting in benefits for reasoning, representing, and acquiring operators and plans. By making capabilities more easily understandable to humans, such a representation can also benefit mixed-initiative approaches. We present a structured representation of capabilities and a subsumption-based matcher for it. We then describe three existing systems that use this approach in different kinds of planning tasks and tools. We finish with a discussion of how plan generation systems can benefit from using this representation.

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