K. Elimelech, L. E. Kavraki, and M. Y. Vardi, “Efficient task planning using abstract skills and dynamic road map matching,” in Robotics Research, Cham, Switzerland, 2023, vol. 27, pp. 487–503.
Task planning is the problem of finding a discrete sequence of actions to achieve a goal. Unfortunately, task planning in robotic domains is computationally challenging. To address this, in our prior work, we explained how knowledge from a successful task solution can be cached for later use, as an “abstract skill." Such a skill is represented as a trace of states (“road map") in an abstract space and can be matched with new tasks on-demand. This paper explains how one can use a library of abstract skills, derived from past planning experience, to reduce the computational cost of solving new task planning problems. As we explain, matching a skill to a task allows us to decompose it into independent sub-tasks, which can be quickly solved in parallel. This can be done automatically and dynamically during planning. We begin by formulating this problem of “planning with skills" as a constraint satisfaction problem. We then provide a hierarchical solution algorithm, which integrates with any standard task planner. Finally, we experimentally demonstrate the computational benefits of the approach for reach-avoid tasks.