Timelines Are Expressive Enough to Capture Action-Based Temporal Planning

Planning problems are usually expressed by specifying which actions can be performed to obtain a given goal. In temporal planning problems, actions come with a time duration and can overlap in time, which noticeably increase the complexity of the reasoning process. Action-based temporal planning has been thoroughly studied from the complexity-theoretic point of view, and it has been proved to be EXPSPACE-complete in its general formulation. Conversely, timeline-based planning problems are represented as a collection of variables whose time-varying behavior is governed by a set of temporal constraints, called synchronization rules. Timelines provide a unified framework to reason about planning and execution under uncertainty. Timeline-based systems are being successfully employed in real-world complex tasks, but, in contrast to action-based planning, little is known on their computational complexity and expressiveness. In particular, a comparison of the expressiveness of the action-and timeline-based formalisms is still missing. This paper contributes a first step in this direction by proving that timelines are expressive enough to capture action-based temporal planning, showing as a byproduct the EXPSPACE-completeness of timeline-based planning with no temporal horizon and bounded temporal relations only.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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Gigante, Nicola
Montanari, Angelo
Mayer, Marta Cialdea
Orlandini, Andrea
International symposium on temporal representation and reasoning (TIME), pp. 100–109, 17/10/2016, 19/10/2016
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