Computing Hierarchical Finite State Controllers With Classical Planning

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Abstract

Finite State Controllers (FSCs) are an effective way to compactly represent sequential plans. By imposing appropriate conditions on transitions, FSCs can also represent generalized plans (plans that solve a range of planning problems from a given domain). In this paper we introduce the concept of hierarchical FSCs for planning by allowing controllers to call other controllers. This call mechanism allows hierarchical FSCs to represent generalized plans more compactly than individual FSCs, to compute controllers in a modular fashion or even more, to compute recursive controllers. The paper introduces a classical planning compilation for computing hierarchical FSCs that solve challenging generalized planning tasks. The compilation takes as input a finite set of classical planning problems from a given domain. The output of the compilation is a single classical planning problem whose solution induces: (1) a hierarchical FSC and (2), the corresponding validation of that controller on the input classical planning problems.

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