Synthesis of Search Heuristics for Temporal Planning via Reinforcement Learning

Andrea Micheli and Alessandro Valentini

Automated temporal planning is the problem of synthesizing, starting from a model of a system, a course of actions to achieve a desired goal when temporal constraints, such as deadlines, are present in the problem. Despite considerable successes in the literature, scalability is still a severe limitation for existing planners, especially when confronted with real-world, industrial scenarios.

In this paper, we aim at exploiting recent advances in reinforcement learning, for the synthesis of heuristics for temporal planning. Starting from a set of problems of interest for a specific domain, we use a customized reinforcement learning algorithm to construct a value function that is able to estimate the expected reward for as many problems as possible. We use a reward schema that captures the semantics of the temporal planning problem and we show how the value function can be transformed in a planning heuristic for a semi-symbolic heuristic search exploration of the planning model. We show on two case studies how this method can be used to extend the reach of current temporal planning technology with encouraging results.