Focusing Attention in Anytime Decision­Theoretic Planning

Peter Haddawy Decision Systems and Artificial Intelligence Lab Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Wisconsin­Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI 53201


Any anytime algorithm used for decision­making should have the property that it considers the most important aspects of the decision problem first. In this way, the algorithm can first eliminate disas­ trous decisions and recognize particularly advan­ tageous decisions, considering finer details if time permits. We view planning as a decision­making process and discuss the design of anytime algo­ rithms for decision­theoretic planning. In particu­ lar, we present an anytime decision­theoretic plan­ ning algorithm that uses abstraction to focus atten­ tion first on those aspects of a planning problem that have the highest impact on expected utility. We discuss control schemes for refining this behav­ ior and methods for automatically creating good abstractions.