Analyzing Failure Recovery to Improve Planner Design

Adele E. Howe

Plans fail for many reasons. During planner development, failure can often be traced to actions of the planner itself. Failure recovery analysis is a procedure for analyzing execution traces of failure recovery to discover how the planner’s actions may be causing failures. The four step procedure involves statistically analyzing execution data for dependencies between actions and failures, mapping those dependencies to plan structures, explaining how the structures might produce the observed dependencies, and recommending modifications. The procedure is demonstrated by applying it to explain how a particular recovery action may lead to a particular failure in the Phoenix planner. The planner is modified based on the recommendations of the analysis, and the modifications are shown to improve the planner’s performance by removing a source of failure and so reducing the overall incidence of failure.

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