Temporal Planning using Subgoal Partitioning and Resolution in SGPlan

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In this paper, we present the partitioning of mutual-exclusion (mutex) constraints in temporal planning problems and its implementation in the SGPlan4 planner. Based on the strong locality of mutex constraints observed in many benchmarks of the Fourth International Planning Competition (IPC4), we propose to partition the constraints of a planning problem into groups based on their subgoals. Constraint partitioning leads to significantly easier subproblems that are similar to the original problem and that can be efficiently solved by the same planner with some modifications to its objective function. We present a partition-and-resolve strategy that looks for locally optimal subplans in constraint-partitioned temporal planning subproblems and that resolves those inconsistent global constraints across the subproblems. We also discuss some implementation details of SGPlan4, which include the resolution of violated global constraints, techniques for handling producible resources, landmark analysis, path finding and optimization, search-space reduction, and modifications of Metric-FF when used as a basic planner in SGPlan4. Last, we show results on the sensitivity of each of these techniques in quality-time trade-offs and experimentally demonstrate that SGPlan4 is effective for solving the IPC3 and IPC4 benchmarks.

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