Symbolic Top-k Planning
The objective of top-k planning is to determine a set of k different plans with lowest cost for a given planning task. In practice, such a set of best plans can be preferred to a single best plan generated by ordinary optimal planners, as it allows the user to choose between different alternatives and thus take into account preferences that may be difficult to model. In this paper we show that, in general, the decision problem version of top-k planning is PSPACE-complete, as is the decision problem version of ordinary classical planning. This does not hold for polynomially bounded plans for which the decision problem turns out to be PP-hard, while the ordinary case is NP-hard. We present a novel approach to top-k planning, called sym-k, which is based on symbolic search, and prove that sym-k is sound and complete. Our empirical analysis shows that sym-k exceeds the current state of the art for both small and large k.