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Using integrated knowledge acquisition to prepare sophisticated expert plans for their re-use in novel situations

Franz Schmalhofer; Ralf Bergmann; Otto Kühn; Gabriele Schmidt
DFKI, DFKI Research Reports (RR), Vol. 92-25, 1992.


Plans which were constructed by human experts and have been repeatedly executed to the complete satisfaction of some customer in a complex real world domain contain very valuable planning knowledge. In order to make this compiled knowledge re-usable for novel situations, a specific integrated knowledge acquisition method has been developed: First, a domain theory is established from documentation materials or texts, which is then used as the foundation for explaining how the plan achieves the planning goal. Secondly, hierarchically structured problem class definitions are obtained from the practitioners' highlevel problem conceptualizations. The descriptions of these problem classes also provide operationality criteria for the various levels in the hierarchy. A skeletal plan is then constructed for each problem class with an explanation-based learning procedure. These skeletal plans consist of a sequence of general plan elements, so that each plan element can be independently refined. The skeletal plan thus accounts for the interactions between the various concrete operations of the plan at a general level. The complexity of the planning problem is thereby factored in a domain-specific way and the compiled knowledge of sophisticated expert plans can be re-used in novel situations.