The Case for Durative Actions: A Commentary on PDDL2.1

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D. E. Smith


The addition of durative actions to PDDL2.1 sparked some controversy. Fox and Long argued that actions should be considered as instantaneous, but can start and stop processes. Ultimately, a limited notion of durative actions was incorporated into the language. I argue that this notion is still impoverished, and that the underlying philosophical position of regarding durative actions as being a shorthand for a start action, process, and stop action ignores the realities of modelling and execution for complex systems.

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