DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Sponsored Planning Research: Report and Prospectus.
YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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Planning is reasoning about time for the purpose of altering the future, by constructing a structure of actions under the control of the planner, and modifying this structure as actions get executed and their results become known. Planning is of obvious interest to the military. As weapon systems get more and more complex, it will become desirable to automate their allocation to a greater extent. A perusal of goals for the Strategic Computing Initiative shows a need for planning in several of the technology-base areas. Under Vision, for instance, we find an effort devoted to navigation and path planning. Under Natural language, there are resources devoted to planning interactions with users, to modeling and criticizing users plans. Under Expert Systems there are efforts devoted to temporal reasoning in general, and planning in particular. It is clear why planning comes again and again all of the application areas in Strategic Computing, including the pilots associate, the autonomous vehicle, and battle-management systems, are crucially concerned with altering the future -- making it worse for the enemy than for the friendly forces. The ubiquity of planning problems has caused DARPA to create a new Planning Technology Base, in the belief that a fragmentary approach to this pivotal areas is less than optimal. It is not likely that planning would be solved as a side effect of making bigger and faster rule-based systems, or as an afterthought in natural-language research.