Conflict-directed A* and its role in model-based embedded systems

Brian C. Williams, Robert J. Ragno
2007 Discrete Applied Mathematics  
Artificial Intelligence has traditionally used constraint satisfaction and logic to frame a wide range of problems, including planning, diagnosis, cognitive robotics and embedded systems control. However, many decision making problems are now being re-framed as optimization problems, involving a search over a discrete space for the best solution that satisfies a set of constraints. The best methods for finding optimal solutions, such as A * , explore the space of solutions one state at a time.
more » ... his paper introduces conflict-directed A * , a method for solving optimal constraint satisfaction problems. Conflict-directed A * searches the state space in best first order, but accelerates the search process by eliminating subspaces around each state that are inconsistent. This elimination process builds upon the concepts of conflict and kernel diagnosis used in model-based diagnosis [J. de Kleer, B.C. Williams, Diagnosing multiple faults, Artif. Intell. 32(1) (1987) 97-130; J. de Kleer, A. Mackworth, R. Reiter, Characterizing diagnoses and systems, Artif. Intell. 56 (1992) 197-222] and in dependency-directed search [R. Stallman, G.J. Sussman, Forward reasoning and dependency-directed backtracking in a system for computer-aided circuit analysis, Artif. Intell. 9 (1977) 135-196; J. Gaschnig, Performance measurement and analysis of certain search algorithms, 25-46]. Conflict-directed A * is a fundamental tool for building model-based embedded systems, and has been used to solve a range of problems, including fault isolation [J. de Kleer, B.C. Williams, Diagnosing multiple faults, Artif. Intell. 32(1) (1987) 97-130], diagnosis [J. de Kleer, B.C. Williams, Diagnosis with behavioral modes, in: Proceedings of IJCAI-89, 1989, pp. 1324-1330], mode estimation and repair [B.C. Williams, P. Nayak, A model-based approach to reactive self-configuring systems, in: Proceedings of AAAI-96, 1996, pp. 971-978], model-compilation [B.C. Williams, P. Nayak, A reactive planner for a model-based executive, in: Proceedings of IJCAI-97, 1997] and model-based programming [M. Ingham, R. Ragno, B.C. Williams, A reactive model-based programming language for robotic space explorers, in: Proceedings of ISAIRAS-01, 2001].
doi:10.1016/j.dam.2005.10.022 fatcat:hjbiups2argjxjj2crqwkxmuna