KR2021Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and ReasoningProceedings of the 18th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

Online event. November 3-12, 2021.

Edited by

ISSN: 2334-1033
ISBN: 978-1-956792-99-7

Sponsored by
Published by

Copyright © 2021 International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence Organization

Expressing and Exploiting the Common Subgoal Structure of Classical Planning Domains Using Sketches

  1. Dominik Drexler(Linköping University)
  2. Jendrik Seipp(Linköping University)
  3. Hector Geffner(Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Linköping University)


  1. Decision making
  2. Reasoning about actions and change, action languages


Width-based planning methods deal with conjunctive goals by decomposing problems into subproblems of low width. Algorithms like SIW thus fail when the goal is not easily serializable in this way or when some of the subproblems have a high width. In this work, we address these limitations by using a simple but powerful language for expressing finer problem decompositions introduced recently by Bonet and Geffner, called policy sketches. A policy sketch R over a set of Boolean and numerical features is a set of sketch rules that express how the values of these features are supposed to change. Like general policies, policy sketches are domain general, but unlike policies, the changes captured by sketch rules do not need to be achieved in a single step. We show that many planning domains that cannot be solved by SIW are provably solvable in low polynomial time with the SIW_R algorithm, the version of SIW that employs user-provided policy sketches. Policy sketches are thus shown to be a powerful language for expressing domain-specific knowledge in a simple and compact way and a convenient alternative to languages such as HTNs or temporal logics. Furthermore, they make it easy to express general problem decompositions and prove key properties of them like their width and complexity.