A Look-Ahead Technique for Search-Based HTN Planning: Reducing the Branching Factor by Identifying Inevitable Task Refinements


  • Conny Olz Ulm University
  • Pascal Bercher School of Computing, The Australian National University




Problem Solving Using Search, Bounding And Pruning Techniques


In HTN planning the choice of decomposition methods used to refine compound tasks is key to finding a valid plan. Based on inferred preconditions and effects of compound tasks, we propose a look-ahead technique for search-based total-order HTN planning that can identify inevitable refinement choices and in some cases dead-ends. The former occurs when all but one decomposition method for some task are proven infeasible for turning a task network into a solution, whereas the latter occurs when all methods are proven infeasible. We show how it can be used for pruning, as well as to strengthen heuristics and to reduce the search branching factor. An empirical evaluation proves its potential as incorporating it improves an existing HTN planner such that it is the currently best performing one in terms of coverage and IPC score.