A Markov chain is a random process with the property that the next state depends only on the current state. For example: If you have the choice of red or blue twice the process would be Markovian if each time you chose the decision had nothing to do with your choice previously (see diagram below). How can Markov Chains help us? To start with we need to define some basic terminology. The changes of state within the system are called transitions, and the probabilities associated with various state-changes are called transition probabilities.

Atkins, Ella M., Durfee, Edmund H., Shin, Kang G.

Approximate models of world state transitions are necessary when building plans for complex systems operating in dynamic environments. External event probabilities can depend on state feature values as well as time spent in that particular state. We assign temporally -dependent probability functions to state transitions. These functions are used to locally compute state probabilities, which are then used to select highly probable goal paths and eliminate improbable states. This probabilistic model has been implemented in the Cooperative Intelligent Real-time Control Architecture (CIRCA), which combines an AI planner with a separate real-time system such that plans are developed, scheduled, and executed with real-time guarantees. We present flight simulation tests that demonstrate how our probabilistic model may improve CIRCA performance.