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Software and Information Systems Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er Sheva, Israel, Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Abstract:Multi-agent path finding (MAPF) is the problem of finding paths for multiple agents such that they do not collide. This problem manifests in numerous real-world applications such as controlling transportation robots in automated warehouses, moving characters in video games, and coordinating self-driving cars in intersections. Finding optimal solutions to MAPF is NP-Hard, yet modern optimal solvers can scale to hundreds of agents and even thousands in some cases. Different solvers employ different approaches, and there is no single state-of-the-art approach for all problems. Furthermore, there are no clear, provable, guidelines for choosing when each optimal MAPF solver to use. Prior work employed Algorithm Selection (AS) techniques to learn such guidelines from past data. A major challenge when employing AS for choosing an optimal MAPF algorithm is how to encode the given MAPF problem. Prior work either used hand-crafted features or an image representation of the problem. We explore graph-based encodings of the MAPF problem and show how they can be used on-the-fly with a modern graph embedding algorithm called FEATHER. Then, we show how this encoding can be effectively joined with existing encodings, resulting in a novel AS method we call MAPF Algorithm selection via Graph embedding (MAG). An extensive experimental evaluation of MAG on several MAPF algorithm selection tasks reveals that it is either on-par or significantly better than existing methods.

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Abstract:Multi-agent pathfinding (MAPF) is the problem of finding a set of conflict-free paths for a set of agents. Typically, the agents' moves are limited to a pre-defined graph of possible locations and allowed transitions between them, e.g. a 4-neighborhood grid. We explore how to solve MAPF problems when each agent can move between any pair of possible locations as long as traversing the line segment connecting them does not lead to the collision with the obstacles. This is known as any-angle pathfinding. We present the first optimal any-angle multi-agent pathfinding algorithm. Our planner is based on the Continuous Conflict-based Search (CCBS) algorithm and an optimal any-angle variant of the Safe Interval Path Planning (TO-AA-SIPP). The straightforward combination of those, however, scales poorly since any-angle path finding induces search trees with a very large branching factor. To mitigate this, we adapt two techniques from classical MAPF to the any-angle setting, namely Disjoint Splitting and Multi-Constraints. Experimental results on different combinations of these techniques show they enable solving over 30% more problems than the vanilla combination of CCBS and TO-AA-SIPP. In addition, we present a bounded-suboptimal variant of our algorithm, that enables trading runtime for solution cost in a controlled manner.

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Abstract:Powerful domain-independent planners have been developed to solve various types of planning problems. These planners often require a model of the acting agent's actions, given in some planning domain description language. Manually designing such an action model is a notoriously challenging task. An alternative is to automatically learn action models from observation. Such an action model is called safe if every plan created with it is consistent with the real, unknown action model. Algorithms for learning such safe action models exist, yet they cannot handle domains with conditional or universal effects, which are common constructs in many planning problems. We prove that learning non-trivial safe action models with conditional effects may require an exponential number of samples. Then, we identify reasonable assumptions under which such learning is tractable and propose SAM Learning of Conditional Effects (Conditional-SAM), the first algorithm capable of doing so. We analyze Conditional-SAM theoretically and evaluate it experimentally. Our results show that the action models learned by Conditional-SAM can be used to solve perfectly most of the test set problems in most of the experimented domains.

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Abstract:A significant challenge in applying planning technology to real-world problems lies in obtaining a planning model that accurately represents the problem's dynamics. Numeric Safe Action Models Learning (N-SAM) is a recently proposed algorithm that addresses this challenge. It is an algorithm designed to learn the preconditions and effects of actions from observations in domains that may involve both discrete and continuous state variables. N-SAM has several attractive properties. It runs in polynomial time and is guaranteed to output an action model that is safe, in the sense that plans generated by it are applicable and will achieve their intended goals. To preserve this safety guarantee, N-SAM must observe a substantial number of examples for each action before it is included in the learned action model. We address this limitation of N-SAM and propose N-SAM*, an enhanced version of N-SAM that always returns an action model where every observed action is applicable at least in some state, even if it was only observed once. N-SAM* does so without compromising the safety of the returned action model. We prove that N-SAM* is optimal in terms of sample complexity compared to any other algorithm that guarantees safety. An empirical study on a set of benchmark domains shows that the action models returned by N-SAM* enable solving significantly more problems compared to the action models returned by N-SAM.

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Authors:Shiwali Mohan, Wiktor Piotrowski, Roni Stern, Sachin Grover, Sookyung Kim, Jacob Le, Johan De Kleer

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Abstract:Model-based reasoning agents are ill-equipped to act in novel situations in which their model of the environment no longer sufficiently represents the world. We propose HYDRA - a framework for designing model-based agents operating in mixed discrete-continuous worlds, that can autonomously detect when the environment has evolved from its canonical setup, understand how it has evolved, and adapt the agents' models to perform effectively. HYDRA is based upon PDDL+, a rich modeling language for planning in mixed, discrete-continuous environments. It augments the planning module with visual reasoning, task selection, and action execution modules for closed-loop interaction with complex environments. HYDRA implements a novel meta-reasoning process that enables the agent to monitor its own behavior from a variety of aspects. The process employs a diverse set of computational methods to maintain expectations about the agent's own behavior in an environment. Divergences from those expectations are useful in detecting when the environment has evolved and identifying opportunities to adapt the underlying models. HYDRA builds upon ideas from diagnosis and repair and uses a heuristics-guided search over model changes such that they become competent in novel conditions. The HYDRA framework has been used to implement novelty-aware agents for three diverse domains - CartPole++ (a higher dimension variant of a classic control problem), Science Birds (an IJCAI competition problem), and PogoStick (a specific problem domain in Minecraft). We report empirical observations from these domains to demonstrate the efficacy of various components in the novelty meta-reasoning process.

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Abstract:This paper studies how a domain-independent planner and combinatorial search can be employed to play Angry Birds, a well established AI challenge problem. To model the game, we use PDDL+, a planning language for mixed discrete/continuous domains that supports durative processes and exogenous events. The paper describes the model and identifies key design decisions that reduce the problem complexity. In addition, we propose several domain-specific enhancements including heuristics and a search technique similar to preferred operators. Together, they alleviate the complexity of combinatorial search. We evaluate our approach by comparing its performance with dedicated domain-specific solvers on a range of Angry Birds levels. The results show that our performance is on par with these domain-specific approaches in most levels, even without using our domain-specific search enhancements.

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Authors:Wiktor Piotrowski, Roni Stern, Yoni Sher, Jacob Le, Matthew Klenk, Johan deKleer, Shiwali Mohan

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Abstract:Planning agents are ill-equipped to act in novel situations in which their domain model no longer accurately represents the world. We introduce an approach for such agents operating in open worlds that detects the presence of novelties and effectively adapts their domain models and consequent action selection. It uses observations of action execution and measures their divergence from what is expected, according to the environment model, to infer existence of a novelty. Then, it revises the model through a heuristics-guided search over model changes. We report empirical evaluations on the CartPole problem, a standard Reinforcement Learning (RL) benchmark. The results show that our approach can deal with a class of novelties very quickly and in an interpretable fashion.

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Abstract:In this technical report, we provide a complete example of running the SAM+ algorithm, an algorithm for learning stochastic planning action models, on a simplified PPDDL version of the Coffee problem. We provide a very brief description of the SAM+ algorithm and detailed description of our simplified version of the Coffee domain, and then describe the results of running it on the simplified Coffee domain.

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Authors:Wiktor Piotrowski, Roni Stern, Matthew Klenk, Alexandre Perez, Shiwali Mohan, Johan de Kleer, Jacob Le

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Abstract:This demo paper presents the first system for playing the popular Angry Birds game using a domain-independent planner. Our system models Angry Birds levels using PDDL+, a planning language for mixed discrete/continuous domains. It uses a domain-independent PDDL+ planner to generate plans and executes them. In this demo paper, we present the system's PDDL+ model for this domain, identify key design decisions that reduce the problem complexity, and compare the performance of our system to model-specific methods for this domain. The results show that our system's performance is on par with other domain-specific systems for Angry Birds, suggesting the applicability of domain-independent planning to this benchmark AI challenge.

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Abstract:Creating a domain model, even for classical, domain-independent planning, is a notoriously hard knowledge-engineering task. A natural approach to solve this problem is to learn a domain model from observations. However, model learning approaches frequently do not provide safety guarantees: the learned model may assume actions are applicable when they are not, and may incorrectly capture actions' effects. This may result in generating plans that will fail when executed. In some domains such failures are not acceptable, due to the cost of failure or inability to replan online after failure. In such settings, all learning must be done offline, based on some observations collected, e.g., by some other agents or a human. Through this learning, the task is to generate a plan that is guaranteed to be successful. This is called the model-free planning problem. Prior work proposed an algorithm for solving the model-free planning problem in classical planning. However, they were limited to learning grounded domains, and thus they could not scale. We generalize this prior work and propose the first safe model-free planning algorithm for lifted domains. We prove the correctness of our approach, and provide a statistical analysis showing that the number of trajectories needed to solve future problems with high probability is linear in the potential size of the domain model. We also present experiments on twelve IPC domains showing that our approach is able to learn the real action model in all cases with at most two trajectories.

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