Structured Planning and Debugging: A Linguistic Approach to Problem Solving

Unknown author (1976-06-08)

This report describes research done at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant C40708X and in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense under Office of Naval Research contract N00014-75-C-0643. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the National Science Foundation or the United States Government.

Working Paper

A structured approach to planning and debugging is obtained by using an Augmented Transition Network (ATN) to model the problem solving process. This proves to be a perspicuous representation for planning concepts including techniques of identification, decomposition and reformulation. It also provides an elegant theory of debugging, in which bugs are identified as errors in transitions between states in the ATN. Examples from the Blocks World and elementary graphics programming problems are used to illustrate the theory.