Macros have a long-standing role in planning as a tool for representing repeating subsequences of operators. Macros are useful both for guiding search towards a solution and for representing plans compactly. In this paper we introduce automata plans which consist of hierarchies of finite state automata. Automata plans can be viewed as an extension of macros that enables parametrization and branching. We provide several examples of the utility of automata plans, and prove that automata plans are strictly more expressive than macro plans. We also prove that automata plans admit polynomialtime sequential access of the operators in the underlying “flat” plan, and identify a subset of automata plans that admit polynomial-time random access. Finally, we compare automata plans with other representations allowing polynomial-time sequential access.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 email@example.com