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The identification and exploitation of almost symmetry in planning problems

Porteous, J. and Long, D. and Fox, M. (2004) The identification and exploitation of almost symmetry in planning problems. In: 23rd UK Planning and Scheduling Special Interest Group, 2004-12-20 - 2004-12-21.

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Previous work in symmetry detection for planning has identified symmetries between domain objects and shown how the exploitation of this information can help reduce search at plan time. However these methods are unable to detect symmetries between objects that are almost symmetrical: where the objects must start (or end) in slightly different configurations but for much of the plan their behaviour is equivalent. In the paper we outline a method for identifying such symmetries and discuss how this symmetry information can be positively exploited to help direct search during planning we have implemented this method and integrated it with the FF-v2.3 planner and in the paper we present results of experiments with this approach that demonstrate its potential.