We can achieve significant gains in the value of computation by metareasoning about the nature or extent of base-level problem solving before executing a solution. However, resources that are irrevocably committed to metareasoning are not available for executing a solution. Thus, it is important to determine the portion of resources we wish to apply to metareasoning and control versus to the execution of a solution plan. Recent research on rational agency has highlighted the importance of limiting the consumption of resources by metareasoning machinery. We shall introduce the metareasoning-partition problem–the problem of ideally apportioning costly reasoning resources to planning a solution versus applying resource to executing a solution to a problem. We exercise prototypical metareasoning-partition models to probe the relationships between time allocated to metareasoning and to execution for different problem classes.
When minimizing makespan during off-line planning, the fastest action sequence to reach a particular state is, by definition, preferred. When trying to reach a goal quickly in on-line planning, previous work has inherited that assumption: the faster of two paths that both reach the same state is usually considered to dominate the slower one. In this short paper, we point out that, when planning happens concurrently with execution, selecting a slower action can allow additional time for planning, leading to better plans. We present Slo'RTS, a metareasoning planning algorithm that estimates whether the expected improvement in future decision-making from this increased planning time is enough to make up for the increased duration of the selected action. Using simple benchmarks, we show that Slo'RTS can yield shorter time-to-goal than a conventional planner. This generalizes previous work on metareasoning in on-line planning and highlights the inherent uncertainty present in an on-line setting.
The capacity to think about our own thinking may lie at the heart of what it means to be both human and intelligent. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have investigated these matters for many years. Researchers in artificial intelligence have gone further, attempting to implement actual machines that mimic, simulate, and perhaps even replicate this capacity, called metareasoning. In this volume, leading authorities offer a variety of perspectives--drawn from philosophy, cognitive psychology, and computer science--on reasoning about the reasoning process. The book offers a simple model of reasoning about reason as a framework for its discussions.
Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the use of metacognition in intelligent systems. This article is part of a small section meant to give interested researchers an overview and sampling of the kinds of work currently being pursued in this broad area. The current article offers a review of recent research in two main topic areas: the monitoring and control of reasoning (metareasoning) and the monitoring and control of learning (metalearning).