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Title: Knowledge engineering techniques for automated planning
Author: Shah, Mohammad Munshi Shahin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 8402
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2014
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Formulating knowledge for use in AI Planning engines is currently something of an ad-hoc process, where the skills of knowledge engineers and the tools they use may significantly influence the quality of the resulting planning application. There is little in the way of guidelines or standard procedures, however, for knowledge engineers to use when formulating knowledge into planning domain languages such as PDDL. Also, there is little published research to inform engineers on which method and tools to use in order to effectively engineer a new planning domain model. This is of growing importance, as domain independent planning engines are now being used in a wide range of applications, with the consequence that operational problem encodings and domain models have to be developed in a standard language. In particular, at the difficult stage of domain knowledge formulation, changing a statement of the requirements into something formal - a PDDL domain model - is still somewhat of an ad hoc process, usually conducted by a team of AI experts using text editors. On the other hand, the use of tools such as itSIMPLE or GIPO, with which experts generate a high level diagrammatic description and automatically generate the domain model, have not yet been proven to be more effective than hand coding. The major contribution of this thesis is the evaluation of knowledge engineering tools and techniques involved in the formulation of knowledge. To support this, we introduce and encode a new planning domain called Road Traffic Accidents (RTA), and discuss a set of requirements that we have derived, in consultation with stakeholders and analysis of accident management manuals, for the planning part of the management task. We then use and evaluate three separate strategies for knowledge formulation, encoding domain models from a textual, structural description of requirements using (i) the traditional method of a PDDL expert and text editor (ii) a leading planning GUI with built in UML modelling tools (iii) an object-based notation inspired by formal methods. We evaluate these three approaches using process and product metrics. The results give insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches, highlight lessons learned regarding knowledge encoding, and point to important lines of research for knowledge engineering for planning. In addition, we discuss a range of state-of-the-art modelling tools to find the types of features that the knowledge engineering tools possess. These features have also been used for evaluating the methods used. We benchmark our evaluation approach by comparing it with the method used in the previous International Competition for Knowledge Engineering for Planning & Scheduling (ICKEPS). We conclude by providing a set of guidelines for building future knowledge engineering tools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)