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Intellektik: Technical report 95-03

Interactive Planning for the Assistance of Human Agents

Matthias Lindner

Planning systems to be used in assistance environments differ in many aspects from classical planners. While in classical planning the planner controls an agent with no or little intelligence (e.g. a robot arm), in assistance planning human beings use a planning system to support them, while trying to achieve some complex goal. Examples of assistance planners are office planners or software development support planners. These planning applications require planning methods that are specially adapted to the respective domain. Important features are least-commitment planning, the ability to deal with incomplete action models and to revise assumptions about the outcome of actions in the real world efficiently. We describe the design and implementation of the assistance planning system Plopp!, which is divided into two major parts: a plan network maintenance system PNMS and a plan synthesis module (planner). The PNMS is a special deductive global knowledgebase, which allows for the efficient storage and retrieval of hierarchical partial-order plans. It is used by the super-ordinate planner to maintain all plan variants created during the planning process and to record all planning decisions and the state of the application domain. A comfortable graphical interface allows the user to guide the planning process, to trigger the execution of scripts and programs and to communicate the results of actions she performed in the real world to the planner.

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