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Preferences and soft constraints in PDDL3

Gerevini, A. and Long, D. (2006) Preferences and soft constraints in PDDL3. In: ICAPS Workshop on Planning with Preferences and Soft Constraints, 2006-06-06.

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Abstract

The notion of plan qualityin automated planning is a practically very important issue. In many real-world planning domains, we have to address problems with a large set of solutions, or with a set of goals that cannot all be achieved. In these problems, it is important to generate plans of good or optimal quality achieving all problem goals (if possible) or some subset of them. In the previous International planning competitions, the plan generation CPU-time played a central role in the evaluation of the competing planners. In the fifth International planning competition (IPC-5), while considering the CPU-time, we would like to give greater emphasis to the importance of plan quality. The versions of PDDL used in the previous two competitions (PDDL2.1 and PDDL2.2) allow us to express some criteria for plan quality, such as the number of plan actions or parallel steps, and relatively complex plan metrics involving plan makespan and numerical quantities. These are powerful and expressive in domains that include metric fluents, but plan quality can still only be measured by plan size in the case of propositional planning. We believe that these criteria are insufficient, and we propose to extend PDDL with new constructs increasing its expressive power about the plan quality specification.