Optimising Flexibility of Temporal Problems with Uncertainty




Cui, Jing

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Temporal networks have been applied in many autonomous systems. In real situations, we cannot ignore the uncertain factors when using those autonomous systems. Achieving robust schedules and temporal plans by optimising flexibility to tackle the uncertainty is the motivation of the thesis. This thesis focuses on the optimisation problems of temporal networks with uncertainty and controllable options in the field of Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling. The goal of this thesis is to construct flexibility and robustness metrics for temporal networks under the constraints of different levels of controllability. Furthermore, optimising flexibility for temporal plans and schedules to achieve robust solutions with flexible executions. When solving temporal problems with uncertainty, postponing decisions according to the observations of uncertain events enables flexible strategies as the solutions instead of fixed schedules or plans. Among the three levels of controllability of the Simple Temporal Problem with Uncertainty (STPU), a problem is dynamically controllable if there is a successful dynamic strategy such that every decision in it is made according to the observations of past events. In the thesis, we make the following contributions. (1) We introduce an optimisation model for STPU based on the existing dynamic controllability checking algorithms. Some flexibility and robustness measures are introduced based on the model. (2) We extend the definition and verification algorithm of dynamic controllability to temporal problems with controllable discrete variables and uncertainty, which is called Controllable Conditional Temporal Problems with Uncertainty (CCTPU). An entirely dynamically controllable strategy of CCTPU consists of both temporal scheduling and variable assignments being dynamically decided, which maximize the flexibility of the execution. (3) We introduce optimisation models of CCTPU under fully dynamic controllability. The optimisation models aim to answer the questions how flexible, robust or controllable a schedule or temporal plan is. The experiments show that making decisions dynamically can achieve better objective values than doing statically. The thesis also contributes to the field of AI planning and scheduling by introducing robustness metrics of temporal networks, proposing an envelope-based algorithm that can check dynamic controllability of temporal networks with uncertainty and controllable discrete decisions, evaluating improvements from making decisions strongly controllable to temporally dynamically controllable and fully dynamically controllable and comparing the runtime of different implementations to present the scalability of dynamically controllable strategies.



Artificial Intelligence, Planning and Scheduling, Temporal Problems, Optimisation, Optimization, Dynamic Controllability, Controllable Conditional Temporal Problem with Uncertainty, Discrete Variable, Dynamic Strategy, Temporal Uncertainty, Robustness Metric




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