Decision-theoretic control of search has previously used as its basic unit. of computation the generation and evaluation of a complete set of successors. Although this simplifies analysis, it results in some lost opportunities for pruning and satisficing. This paper therefore extends the analysis of the value of computation to cover individual successor evaluations. The analytic techniques used may prove useful for control of reasoning in more general settings. A formula is developed for the expected value of a node, k of whose n successors have been evaluated. This formula is used to estimate the value of expanding further successors, using a general formula for the value of a computation in game-playing developed in earlier work. We exhibit an improved version of the MGSS* algorithm, giving empirical results for the game of Othello.

The recent advances in computer speed and algorithms for probabilistic inference have led to a resurgence of work on planning under uncertainty. The aim is to design AI planners for environments where there might be incomplete or faulty information, where actions might not always have the same results, and where there might be trade-offs between the different possible outcomes of a plan. Addressing uncertainty in AI, planning algorithms will greatly increase the range of potential applications, but there is plenty of work to be done before we see practical decision-theoretic planning systems. This article outlines some of the challenges that need to be overcome and surveys some of the recent work in the area.

Sebastiani, Paola, Ramoni, Marco

This paper describes a decision theoretic formulation of learning the graphical structure of a Bayesian Belief Network from data. This framework subsumes the standard Bayesian approach of choosing the model with the largest posterior probability as the solution of a decision problem with a 0-1 loss function and allows the use of more general loss functions able to trade-off the complexity of the selected model and the error of choosing an oversimplified model. A new class of loss functions, called disintegrable, is introduced, to allow the decision problem to match the decomposability of the graphical model. With this class of loss functions, the optimal solution to the decision problem can be found using an efficient bottom-up search strategy.

Searching for relevant information on the World Wide Web is often a laborious and frustrating task for casual and experienced users. To help improve searching on the Web based on a better understanding of user characteristics, we address the following research questions: What kind of information would rough set theory shed on user's web behavior? What kind of rules can we extract from a decision table that summarizes the behavior of users from a set of attributes with multiple values in such a case? What kind of decision rules can be extracted from a decision table using an information theoretic measure?

Sprauel, Jonathan (ONERA – The French Aerospace Lab) | Kolobov, Andrey (Microsoft Research) | Teichteil-Königsbuch, Florent (ONERA – The French Aerospace Lab)

In many probabilistic planning scenarios, a system’s behavior needs to not only maximize the expected utility but also obey certain restrictions. This paper presents Saturated Path-Constrained Markov Decision Processes (SPC MDPs), a new MDP type for planning under uncertainty with deterministic model-checking constraints, e.g., "state s must be visited befores s'", "the system must end up in s", or "the system must never enter s". We present a mathematical analysis of SPCMDPs, showing that although SPC MDPs generally have no optimal policies, every instance of this class has an epsilon-optimal randomized policy for any > 0. We propose a dynamic programming-based algorithm for finding such policies, and empirically demonstrate this algorithm to be orders of magnitude faster than its next-best alternative.