The LM-Cut Heuristic Family for Optimal Numeric Planning with Simple Conditions

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Ryo Kuroiwa
Alexander Shleyfman
Chiara Piacentini
Margarita P. Castro
J. Christopher Beck


The LM-cut heuristic, both alone and as part of the operator counting framework, represents one of the most successful heuristics for classical planning. In this paper, we generalize LM-cut and its use in operator counting to optimal numeric planning with simple conditions and simple numeric effects, i.e., linear expressions over numeric state variables and actions that increase or decrease such variables by constant quantities. We introduce a variant of hmaxhbd (a previously proposed numeric hmax heuristic) based on the delete-relaxed version of such planning tasks and show that, although inadmissible by itself, our variant yields a numeric version of the classical LM-cut heuristic which is admissible. We classify the three existing families of heuristics for this class of numeric planning tasks and introduce the LM-cut family, proving dominance or incomparability between all pairs of existing max and LM-cut heuristics for numeric planning with simple conditions. Our extensive empirical evaluation shows that the new LM-cut heuristic, both on its own and as part of the operator counting framework, is the state-of-the-art for this class of numeric planning problem.

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