School of Computer Science

Module 06-02562 (2010)


Level 3/H

Richard Dearden Semester 2 10 credits
Co-ordinator: Richard Dearden
Reviewer: Volker Sorge

The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page.


The aims of this module are to:

  • introduce the basic concepts and terminology of planning
  • give an overview of the main approaches to planning, including classical approaches as well as recent developments
  • present the strengths and limitations of the different approaches
  • enable students to read up-to-date research papers in planning

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • explain the main approaches to planning, both 'classical' and recent developments
  • understand and discuss the advantages and limitations of these approaches
  • demonstrate understanding of current techniques in the field of planning

Taught with

Teaching methods

2 hrs/week lectures, discussion classes


  • Sessional: 1.5 hr examination only.
  • Supplementary: By examination only.

Detailed Syllabus

  1. Basic notions of planning
    • Goals
    • Blocks World
    • Deductive planning
    • Frame problem, frame axioms (tractability)
    • Planning as search (breadth-first search, depth-first search, heuristic search)
  2. Planning with STRIPS, Representation, Search, Limits
    • Interaction of partial goals
    • Unsolvable problems
    • Planning for simultaneous goals (solution to the so-called Sussman anomaly)
  3. Non-Linear Planning
    • Basic idea and notions
    • Classification and solution of conflicts
    • Critics
    • Linear vs. non-linear planning
  4. Efficient methods (GraphPlan, SAT planning)
  5. Hierarchical Planning
    • Planning with abstraction of situations
    • Planning with abstraction of operators
  6. Advanced topics in planning

Programmes containing this module