Planning for Conjunctive Goals

Unknown author (1985-11-01)

The problem of achieving conjunctive goals has been central to domain independent planning research; the nonlinear constraint-posting approach has been most successful. Previous planners of this type have been comlicated, heuristic, and ill-defined. I have combined and distilled the state of the art into a simple, precise, implemented algorithm (TWEAK) which I have proved correct and complete. I analyze previous work on domain-independent conjunctive planning; in retrospect it becomes clear that all conjunctive planners, linear and nonlinear, work the same way. The efficiency of these planners depends on the traditional add/delete-list representation for actions, which drastically limits their usefulness. I present theorems that suggest that efficient general purpose planning with more expressive action representations is impossible, and suggest ways to avoid this problem.