MP Wellman and J Doyle

First International Conference on AI Planning Systems, pages 236–242, June 1992.
Copyright (c) 1992, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.


Specification of objectives constitutes a central issue in knowledge representation for planning. Decision-theoretic approaches require that representations of objectives possess a firm semantics in terms of utility functions, yet provide the flexible compositionality needed for practical preference modeling for planning systems. Modularity, or separability in specification, is the key representational feature enabling this flexibility. In the context of utility specification, modularity corresponds exactly to well-known independence concepts from multiattribute utility theory, and leads directly to approaches for composing separate preference specifications. Ultimately, we seek to use this utility-theoretic account to justify and improve existing mechanisms for specification of preference information, and to develop new representations exhibiting tractable specification and flexible composition of preference criteria.