AAAI Publications, Nineteenth International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling

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Preferred Operators and Deferred Evaluation in Satisficing Planning
Silvia Richter, Malte Helmert

Last modified: 2009-10-16


Heuristic forward search is the dominant approach to satisficing planning to date. Most successful planning systems, however, go beyond plain heuristic search by employing various search-enhancement techniques.  One example is the use of helpful actions or preferred operators, providing information which may complement heuristic values.  A second example is deferred heuristic evaluation, a search variant which can reduce the number of costly node evaluations. Despite the wide-spread use of these search-enhancement techniques however, we note that few results have been published examining their usefulness. In particular, while various ways of using, and possibly combining, these techniques are conceivable, no work to date has studied the performance of such variations.  In this paper, we address this gap by examining the use of preferred operators and deferred evaluation in a variety of settings within best-first search. In particular, our findings are consistent with and help explain the good performance of the winners of the satisficing tracks at IPC 2004 and 2008.


Heuristic search; Satisficing planning; Preferred operators; Deferred heuristic evaluation

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