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The automatic inference of state invariants in TIM

Fox, M. and Long, D. (1998) The automatic inference of state invariants in TIM. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 9. pp. 367-421.

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As planning is applied to larger and richer domains the effort involved in constructing domain descriptions increases and becomes a significant burden on the human application designer. If general planners are to be applied successfully to large and complex domains it is necessary to provide the domain designer with some assistance in building correctly encoded domains. One way of doing this is to provide domain-independent techniques for extracting, from a domain description, knowledge that is implicit in that description and that can assist domain designers in debugging domain descriptions. This knowledge can also be exploited to improve the performance of planners: several researchers have explored the potential of state invariants in speeding up the performance of domain-independent planners. In this paper we describe a process by which state invariants can be extracted from the automatically inferred type structure of a domain. These techniques are being developed for exploitation by STAN, a Graphplan based planner that employs state analysis techniques to enhance its performance.