Domain Metatheories: Enabling User-Centric Planning

Karen L. Myers

Substantial improvements must be made in the usability of AI planning technologies in order for them to achieve widespread adoption. In particular, planning systems must be designed to better serve the needs of users, who generally want to play a central and ongoing role in the plan development process. In this paper, we argue that improved usability requires a new representational layer that captures metatheoretic properties of a planning domain. A domain metatheory would provide an abstract characterization of planning elements that highlights key semantic differences among them. This paper presents a candidate model for a domain metatheory, as well as an instantiation of that model for a travel-planning domain. The paper also describes three user-centric planning capabilities that the model enables, namely, user directability of planning, generation of qualitatively different plans, and plan summarization.

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