Experimenting the Performance of Abstraction Mechanisms through a Parametric Hierarchical Planner

G. Armano, G. Cherchi, and E. Vargiu (Italy)


Abstraction, Hierarchical Planning, Abstract Operators,Macro Operators.


In this paper, the parametric hierarchical planner HW[] is presented, devised to perform experiments on abstraction mechanisms. The system has been designed to embed any PDDL-compliant planner to be considered as a "parameter" with respect to the overall planning system. By suitably switching between abstraction levels, HW[] exploits the embedded planner to search for solutions at any required level of abstraction. Some preliminary experiments are reported, performed on five domains taken from the AIPS 2002, 2000 and 1998 planning competitions. A step further in validating experimental results has been made by embedding two different planners. Comparative results, obtained by assessing the performances measured with and without abstraction, put into evidence that the hierarchical approach can significantly speed up the search.

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