Operator Decomposability: A New Type of Problem Structure

Richard E. Korf

This paper describes a structural property of problems that allows an efficient strategy for solving a large number of problem instances to be based on a small amount of knowledge. Specifically, the property of operator decomposability is shown to be a sufficient condition for the effective application of the Macro Problem Solver, a method that represents its knowledge of a problem by a small number of operator sequences. Roughly, operator decomposability exists in a problem to the extent that the effect of an operator on each component of a state can be expressed as a function of only a subset of the components, independent of the remaining state components.

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