Planning under Partial Observability by Classical Replanning: Theory and Experiments

Blai Bonet, Hector Geffner

Planning with partial observability can be formulated as a non-deterministic search problem in belief space. The problem is harder than classical planning as keeping track of beliefs is harder than keeping track of states, and searching for action policies is harder than searching for action sequences. In this work, we develop a framework for partial observability that avoids these limitations and leads to a planner that scales up to larger problems. For this, the class of problems is restricted to those in which 1) the non-unary clauses representing the uncertainty about the initial situation are nvariant, and 2) variables that are hidden in the initial situation do not appear in the body of conditional effects, which are all assumed to be deterministic. We show that such problems can be translated in linear time into equivalent fully observable non-deterministic planning problems, and that an slight extension of this translation renders the problem solvable by means of classical planners. The whole approach is sound and complete provided that in addition, the state-space is connected. Experiments are also reported.