Pablo Sáinz Albáñez A00354000 Lectures Analysis

21/03/2011

Planning and Scheduling

Planning and scheduling problems are the sort of problems that represents one of the richest fields for applied artificial intelligence. Since the nature of these problems involves heavy lift on rational thought and even learning, great results can be achieved from leveraging this tasks (or at least a part of it) to the computer muscle. Something that called my attention right away from this article is the emphasis that makes at the beginning to establish the difference between planning and scheduling, in a very simple way, the difference between doing what and when to do it. In a second moment, the authors state explicitly the challenge it implies these kind of problems, since in most of its scenarios, they can be characterized as NP hard problems. One very useful thing for me was the framework they provide in order to classify the planning problems. Based on the characteristics of their environments (which can be represented as a dynamic system) in terms of several characteristics, that we have already covered in our previous work with search problems. One key concept mentioned during this part of the article was the conceptual division between elaborate the plan and execute the plan. Both have its corresponding challenges, considerations and may be even dependent from each other. For the case of closed loop planners and conditional post conditions or pre conditions, which have to take into account the reaction of their environment while performing a particular action of its previously constructed plan. I think the whole body of this article can be summarized with three high level ideas to address planning and scheduling problems:    Represent your environment Represent your actions Measure and correct performance of the plan

Considering these three points, previously used techniques in this course comes to our heads. E.g. formal knowledge representation, search algorithms, heuristics, etc. All of these bringing its corresponding capabilities but also carrying its own disadvantages and challenges for specific scenarios. For instance, addressing a particular example. While we are improving our proposed plan, whether by refinement or repairing. We have to determine how optimal our plan is

there are proposed solutions to address the performance issues inherent to the CSPs such as caching previously created plans for known scenarios or implement heuristics for variable assignation. all of these sounds very elaborate. and according to the article. organization and many factors is more and more complex and most of all. however. etc.). even for stochastic environments. dependencies between resources. This is a field that. that means. There are two concepts that I want to mention again and that are key for the definition of real planning and scheduling problems:   Exogenus events Stochastic environments The introduction of these two concepts. Considering his we face different challenges in terms of combinatory explosions and local optimal traps. Project complexity is increasing rapidly. . time line. Speaking of the stochastic environments. the vulnerability and severity of effects caused by human error is increasing. provide a more accurate picture of a real world environment and yet introduces a lot of challenges to this discipline. in my opinion should have a lot of focus on AI since it has so much field of application in industry and high value added impact. we will find ourselves very limited despite all the descriptive power than our current framework can give us. that the schedule problems can be reduced in terms of complex constraint satisfaction problems. something that I want to make emphasis on is that stochastic doesn´t necessarily means chaotic.considering the goal state and several other evaluation factors (cost. Going into the scheduling domain the authors state a very relevant point which is. what probability distribution characterize a given problem. One has to have certain level of knowledge or characterization of the behavior of the environment. if we consider then the real world. One particular example is. Due the nature of the CSPs. This is a specific scenario of a search problem. Well. As a conclusion I want the emphasize the usefulness of the existing theoretical framework for scheduling and planning problems.