Final Report for: Supporting Planning in Concurrent Design Environments.
Final rept. 1 Jan-31 Dec 91,
STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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Unlike planning in the traditional AI paradigm, where the planner is typically assumed to be an isolated module operating in a static world, planning in concurrent design environments is best viewed as a team activity, where the planner needs to interact with the user and specialized domain modules of the environment on a continual basis. Previous approaches for planning in such domains have either been largely domain specific or have compromised with shallow models of the domain-specific considerations. In this research, we have explored a hybrid incremental-planning architecture which utilizes a set of specialists to complement both the overall expressiveness and reasoning power of a traditional hierarchical planner. In particular, we implemented a hybrid planning architecture for doing process planning for machining in the NEXT-CUT concurrent design environment, We developed techniques for effectively interfacing a machining planner, a geometric reasoner and a fixture planned. Our architecture allowed effective interaction between the planner and the specialists, without binding the planner too tightly to the internal operations or the domain specific knowledge of the specialists. The incremental operation of the planner and the specialists was effective in controlling the proliferation of interactions when inconsistent commitments were detected between the planner and the specialists.