Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

*Felipe Trevizan, Manuela Veloso*

Probabilistic planning captures the uncertainty of plan execution by probabilistically modeling the effects of actions in the environment, and therefore the probability of reaching different states from a given state and action. In order to compute a solution for a probabilistic planning problem, planners need to manage the uncertainty associated with the different paths from the initial state to a goal state. Several approaches to manage uncertainty were proposed, e.g., consider all paths at once, perform determinization of actions, and sampling. In this paper, we introduce trajectory-based short-sighted Stochastic Shortest Path Problems (SSPs), a novel approach to manage uncertainty for probabilistic planning problems in which states reachable with low probability are substituted by artificial goals that heuristically estimate their cost to reach a goal state. We also extend the theoretical results of Short-Sighted Probabilistic Planner (SSiPP) [ref] by proving that SSiPP always finishes and is asymptotically optimal under sufficient conditions on the structure of short-sighted SSPs. We empirically compare SSiPP using trajectory-based short-sighted SSPs with the winners of the previous probabilistic planning competitions and other state-of-the-art planners in the triangle tireworld problems. Trajectory-based SSiPP outperforms all the competitors and is the only planner able to scale up to problem number 60, a problem in which the optimal solution contains approximately $10^{70}$ states.

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