On the Utility of Planning

Shlomo Zilberstein. On the Utility of Planning. In M. Pollack (Ed.), SIGART Bulletin Special Issue on Evaluating Plans, Planners, and Planning Systems, 6(1):42-47, 1995.


Evaluation and comparison of existing planning systems is hard because they disagree on the fundamental role of planning, on evaluation metrics, and on the notion of success and failure. This paper suggests a decision-theoretic approach to evaluate planning systems that generalizes the role of planning in intelligent systems. The planner is viewed as a source of information that is used by an execution architecture in order to select actions. A planner is only as good as the effect it has on the performance of an operational system. Our approach calls for a clear separation between the planning component and the execution architecture and for evaluation of planning systems within the context of a well-defined command, planning and execution environment. The evaluation is based on the expected utility of the domain histories that are induced by the planning component.

Bibtex entry:

  author	= {Shlomo Zilberstein},
  title		= {On the Utility of Planning},
  journal	= {SIGART Bulletin Special Issue on Evaluating Plans,
                   Planners, and Planning Systems},
  volume	= {6},
  number	= {1},
  year		= {1995},
  pages		= {42-47},
  url		= {http://rbr.cs.umass.edu/shlomo/papers/Zsigart95.html}

UMass Amherst