12.01.14 - 15.01.14, Seminar 14032

Planning with epistemic goals

The following text appeared on our web pages prior to the seminar, and was included as part of the invitation.

The exhibition "Fabian Treiber: Neun Minuten vor Vegas", opens during the seminar. All participants are cordially invited to join us at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Januar 13, 2014 in the lobby of the new building (next to reception). Light refreshments will be served and Dagstuhl's Scientific Director, Professor Reinhard Wilhelm, will say a few words about the artist and his work.


The seminar brings together the communities of so far relatively separate research areas related to artificial intelligence and logic: automated planning on the one hand, and dynamic logics of interaction on the other. There is significant overlap in motivation, theory and methods, and, we believe, a good potential for cross fertilization.

Automatic planning is a subarea of Artificial Intelligence that was initiated in the 70s. The main idea was to develop efficient methods to generate action plans, for example for robot missions. The initial attempts were based on first order logic. However, most approaches quickly adapted simpler logics and focused on search techniques. The recent years have brought a huge advance on scalability by employing smart search techniques such as heuristic search, SAT, BDDs, and other techniques. Currently, planning researchers explore widening the scope of planning tasks and to connect back to logic oriented approaches of describing dynamics such as GOLOG. At the same time, planning researchers strive to capture planning settings that are more challenging than the classical setting. For instance, planning under uncertainty and planning taking into account beliefs are current research topics.

The research area of dynamic logics of interaction is part of the larger field of applied and interactive logic: the use of logical methods in order to formalize procedures in social and communication contexts. The systems are typically based on the semantics of modal logic, and often focus on information (ex)change and the dynamics of knowledge and beliefs. Paradigmatic examples are public announcement logic and dynamic epistemic logic. One of the main technical features is the incorporation of agency and events into the modal framework as encapsulated by the notion of product update. Recently, some authors have proposed to use the ideas (or, more generally, the methodology) of dynamic approaches to logic for planning.

Epistemic goals, or more generally, goals that have to be expressed in some intensional language (epistemic, doxastic, deontic, others) have been discussed in several papers in the logic community, but are mostly absent from automatic planning. We think that the development of a research community dealing with these goals in planning will require a close interaction between the two involved communities. The seminar aims to initiate research working towards concrete goals, including but not limited to the following:

  • developing a framework for planning formalisms for epistemic planning problems
  • new logical formalisms for extended planning problems
  • formalizing planning domains
  • developing benchmarks
  • restrictions that make DEL planning decidable