Pushing the Envelope: Planning, Propositional Logic, and Stochastic Search

Henry Kautz, Bart Selman

Planning is a notoriously hard combinatorial search problem. In many interesting domains, current planning algorithms fail to scale up gracefully. By combining a general, stochastic search algorithm and appropriate problem encodings based on propositional logic, we are able to solve hard planning problems many times faster than the best current planning systems. Although stochastic methods have been shown to be very effective on a wide range of scheduling problems, this is the first demonstration of its power on truly challenging classical planning instances. This work also provides a new perspective on representational issues in planning.

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