Bonet, Blai


A Summary of the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

AI Magazine

The Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (AAAI-15) was held in January 2015 in Austin, Texas (USA) The conference program was cochaired by Sven Koenig and Blai Bonet. This report contains reflective summaries of the main conference, the robotics program, the AI and robotics workshop, the virtual agent exhibition, the what's hot track, the competition panel, the senior member track, student and outreach activities, the student abstract and poster program, the doctoral consortium, the women's mentoring event, and the demonstrations program.


Automatic Reductions from PH into STRIPS or How to Generate Short Problems with Very Long Solutions

AAAI Conferences

Recently, it has been shown how to automatically translate any problem in NP, expressed in the language of second-order logic, into a STRIPS planning problem. In this work, we extend this translation by considering decision problems in the polynomial-time hierarchy (PH) and not just NP. Since decision problems in PH require in general exponentially-long “certificates”, the plans (if any) for the resulting STRIPS problems may have exponential length. Besides explaining the novel translations, we present experimental results and discuss the challenges that such problems pose.


Planning Under Partial Observability by Classical Replanning: Theory and Experiments

AAAI Conferences

Planning with partial observability can be formulated as a non-deterministic search problem in belief space. The problem is harder than classical planning as keeping track of beliefs is harder than keeping track of states, and searching for action policies is harder than searching for action sequences. In this work, we develop a framework for partial observability that avoids these limitations and leads to a planner that scales up to larger problems. For this, the class of problems is restricted to those in which 1) the non-unary clauses representing the uncertainty about the initial situation are nvariant, and 2) variables that are hidden in the initial situation do not appear in the body of conditional effects, which are all assumed to be deterministic. We show that such problems can be translated in linear time into equivalent fully observable non-deterministic planning problems, and that an slight extension of this translation renders the problem solvable by means of classical planners. The whole approach is sound and complete provided that in addition, the state-space is connected. Experiments are also reported.


Automatic Derivation of Memoryless Policies and Finite-State Controllers Using Classical Planners

AAAI Conferences

Finite-state and memoryless controllers are simple action selection mechanisms widely used in domains such as video-games and mobile robotics.  Memoryless controllers stand for functions that map observations into actions, while finite-state controllers generalize memoryless ones with a finite amount of memory.  In contrast to the policies obtained from MDPs and POMDPs, finite-state controllers have two advantages: they are often extremely compact, involving a small number of controller states or none at all, and they are general, applying to many problems and not just one. A limitation of finite-state controllers is that they must be written by hand. In this work, we address this limitation, and develop a method for deriving finite-state controllers automatically from models. These models represent a class of contingent problems where actions are deterministic and some fluents are observable.  The problem of deriving a controller from such models is converted into a conformant planning problem that is solved using classical planners, taking advantage of a complete translation introduced recently.  The controllers derived in this way are 'general' in the sense that they do not solve the original problem only, but many variations as well, including changes in the size of the problem or in the uncertainty of the initial situation and action effects.  Experiments illustrating the derivation of such controllers are presented.


Solving POMDPs: RTDP-Bel Versus Point-based Algorithms

AAAI Conferences

Point-based algorithms and RTDP-Bel are approximate methods for solving POMDPs that replace the full updates of parallel value iteration by faster and more effective updates at selected beliefs. An important difference between the two methods is that the former adopt  Sondik's representation of the  value function, while the latter uses a tabular representation and a discretization function. The algorithms, however, have not been compared up to now, because  they target different POMDPs: discounted POMDPs on the one hand, and Goal POMDPs on the other. In this paper, we bridge this representational gap, showing how to transform discounted POMDPs into Goal POMDPs, and use the transformation to compare RTDP-Bel with point-based algorithms over the existing discounted benchmarks. The results appear to contradict the conventional wisdom in the area showing that RTDP-Bel is competitive, and sometimes superior to point-based algorithms in both quality and time.


Heuristic Search Planner 2.0

AI Magazine

This general planner implements a scheduler that tries different variants concurrently with different (time) resource bounds. We also describe how hsp2.0 can be used as an optimal (and near-optimal) planning algorithm and compare its performance with two other optimal planners, stan and blackbox.


The AIPS-98 Planning Competition

AI Magazine

In 1998, the international planning community was invited to take part in the first planning competition, hosted by the Artificial Intelligence Planning Systems Conference, to provide a new impetus for empirical evaluation and direct comparison of automatic domain-independent planning systems. This article describes the systems that competed in the event, examines the results, and considers some of the implications for the future of the field.