Measuring Plan Diversity: Pathologies in Existing Approaches and A New Plan Distance Metric
Keywords:Planning, Plan diversity, Diversity metric, Algorithmic complexity, Kolmogorov complexity, Compression distance
In this paper we present a plan-plan distance metric based on Kolmogorov(Algorithmic) complexity. Generating diverse sets of plans is useful for task ssuch as probing user preferences and reasoning about vulnerability to cyberattacks. Generating diverse plans, and comparing different diverse planning approaches requires a domain-independent, theoretically motivated definition of the diversity distance between plans. Previously proposed diversity measures are not theoretically motivated, and can provide inconsistent results on the sameplans. We define the diversity of plans in terms of how surprising one plan is givenanother or, its inverse, the conditional information in one plan givenanother. Kolmogorov complexity provides a domain independent theory of conditional information. While Kolmogorov complexity is not computable, a related metric, Normalized Compression Distance (NCD), provides a well-behaved approximation. In this paper we introduce NCD as an alternative diversity metric, and analyze its performance empirically, in comparison with previous diversity measures, showing strengths and weaknesses of each.We also examine the use of different compressor sin NCD. We show how NCD can be used to select a training set for HTN learning,giving an example of the utility of diversity metrics. We conclude withsuggestions for future work on improving, extending, and applying it to serve new applications.