Models and Methods for Plan Diagnosis

Nico Roos, Cees Witteveen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We consider a model-based diagnosis approach to the diagnosis of plans. Here, a plan performed by some agent(s) is considered as a system to be diagnosed. We introduce a simple formal model of plans and plan execution where it is assumed that the execution of a plan can be monitored by making partial observations of plan states. These observed states are used to compare them with states predicted based on (normal) plan execution. Deviations between observed and predicted states can be explained by qualifying some plan steps in the plan as behaving abnormally. A diagnosis is a subset of plan steps qualified as abnormal that can be used to restore the compatibility between the predicted and the observed partial state. Besides minimum and subset minimal diagnoses, we argue that in plan-based diagnosis maximum informative diagnoses should be considered as preferred diagnoses, too. The latter ones are diagnoses that make the strongest predictions with respect to partial states to be observed in the future. We show that in contrast to minimum diagnoses, finding a (subset minimal) maximum informative diagnosis can be achieved in polynomial time. Finally, we show how these diagnoses can be found efficiently if the plan is distributed over a number of agents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-52
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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