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Author

Stephen J. J. Smith

Other affiliations: Hood College
Bio: Stephen J. J. Smith is an academic researcher from University of Maryland, College Park. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Game tree & Hierarchical task network. The author has an hindex of 9, co-authored 15 publication(s) receiving 402 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Stephen J. J. Smith include Hood College.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An overview of the planning techniques that are incorporated into the BRIDGE BARON and what the program's victory signifies for research on AI planning and game playing are discussed.
Abstract: A computer program that uses AI planning techniques is now the world champion computer program in the game of Contract Bridge. As reported in The New York Times and The Washington Post, this program -- a new version of Great Game Products' BRIDGE BARON program -- won the Baron Barclay World Bridge Computer Challenge, an international competition hosted in July 1997 by the American Contract Bridge League. It is well known that the game tree search techniques used in computer programs for games such as Chess and Checkers work differently from how humans think about such games. In contrast, our new version of the BRIDGE BARON emulates the way in which a human might plan declarer play in Bridge by using an adaptation of hierarchical task network planning. This article gives an overview of the planning techniques that we have incorporated into the BRIDGE BARON and discusses what the program's victory signifies for research on AI planning and game playing.

97 citations

Proceedings Article
01 Jul 1998
TL;DR: This paper describes how to overcome the difficulties that can result from the use of backward chaining and partial-order planning by adapting Hierarchical Task-Network planning to use a total-order control strategy that generates the steps of a plan in the same order that those steps will be executed.
Abstract: AI planning techniques are beginning to find use in a number of practical planning domains. However, the backward-chaining and partial-order-planning control strategies traditionally used in AI planning systems are not necessarily the best ones to use for practical planning problems. In this paper, we discuss some of the difficulties that can result from the use of backward chaining and partial-order planning, and we describe how these difficulties can be overcome by adapting Hierarchical Task-Network (HTN) planning to use a total-order control strategy that generates the steps of a plan in the same order that those steps will be executed. We also examine how introducing the total-order restriction into HTN planning affects its expressive power, and propose a way to relax the total-order restriction to increase its expressive power and range of applicability.

92 citations

Proceedings Article
01 Aug 1994
TL;DR: In studies, forward pruning did better than minimaxing when there was a high correlation among the minimax values of sibling nodes in a game tree, and this result suggests that forward pruned may possibly be a useful decision-making technique in certain kinds of games.
Abstract: Several early game-playing computer programs used forward pruning (i.e., the practice of deliberately ignoring nodes that are believed unlikely to affect a game tree's minimax value), but this technique did not seem to result in good decision-making. The poor performance of forward pruning presents a major puzzle for AI research on game playing, because some version of forward pruning seems to be "what people do," and the best chess-playing programs still do not play as well as the best humans. As a step toward deeper understanding of forward pruning, we have set up models of forward pruning on two different kinds of game trees, and used these models to investigate how forward pruning affects the probability of choosing the correct move. In our studies, forward pruning did better than minimaxing when there was a high correlation among the minimax values of sibling nodes in a game tree. This result suggests that forward pruning may possibly be a useful decision-making technique in certain kinds of games. In particular, we believe that bridge may be such a game.

47 citations

Proceedings Article
01 Jul 1998
TL;DR: The latest world-championship competition for computer bridge programs was the Baron Barclay World Bridge Computer Challenge, hosted in July 1997 by the American Contract Bridge League, and the winner was a new version of Great Game Products' Bridge Baron program, which uses Hierarchical Task-Network planning techniques.
Abstract: The latest world-championship competition for computer bridge programs was the Baron Barclay World Bridge Computer Challenge, hosted in July 1997 by the American Contract Bridge League. As reported in The New York Times and The Washington Post, the competition's winner was a new version of Great Game Products' Bridge Baron program. This version, Bridge Baron 8, has since gone on the market; and during the last three months of 1997 it was purchased by more than 1000 customers.The Bridge Baron's success also represents a significant success for research on AI planning systems, because Bridge Baron 8 uses Hierarchical Task-Network (HTN) planning techniques to plan its declarer play. This paper gives an overview of those techniques and how they are used.

32 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 1997
Abstract: This paper reports on the development of the process-planning module for EDAPS, an integrated system for designing and planning the manufacture of microwave modules. Microwave modules are complex devices having both electrical and mechanical properties, and EDAPS integrates electrical design, mechanical design, and process planning for both the mechanical and electrical domains.

29 citations


Cited by
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MonographDOI
01 Jan 2006
TL;DR: This coherent and comprehensive book unifies material from several sources, including robotics, control theory, artificial intelligence, and algorithms, into planning under differential constraints that arise when automating the motions of virtually any mechanical system.
Abstract: Planning algorithms are impacting technical disciplines and industries around the world, including robotics, computer-aided design, manufacturing, computer graphics, aerospace applications, drug design, and protein folding. This coherent and comprehensive book unifies material from several sources, including robotics, control theory, artificial intelligence, and algorithms. The treatment is centered on robot motion planning but integrates material on planning in discrete spaces. A major part of the book is devoted to planning under uncertainty, including decision theory, Markov decision processes, and information spaces, which are the “configuration spaces” of all sensor-based planning problems. The last part of the book delves into planning under differential constraints that arise when automating the motions of virtually any mechanical system. Developed from courses taught by the author, the book is intended for students, engineers, and researchers in robotics, artificial intelligence, and control theory as well as computer graphics, algorithms, and computational biology.

5,623 citations

Book ChapterDOI
18 Sep 2006
Abstract: For large state-space Markovian Decision Problems Monte-Carlo planning is one of the few viable approaches to find near-optimal solutions. In this paper we introduce a new algorithm, UCT, that applies bandit ideas to guide Monte-Carlo planning. In finite-horizon or discounted MDPs the algorithm is shown to be consistent and finite sample bounds are derived on the estimation error due to sampling. Experimental results show that in several domains, UCT is significantly more efficient than its alternatives.

2,544 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The SHOP2 planning system received one of the awards for distinguished performance in the 2002 International Planning Competition. This paper describes the features of SHOP2 which enabled it to excel in the competition, especially those aspects of SHOP2 that deal with temporal and metric planning domains.

814 citations

Proceedings Article
31 Jul 1999
TL;DR: In the authors' tests, SHOP was several orders of magnitude faster man Blackbox and several times faster than TLpian, even though SHOP is coded in Lisp and the other planners are coded in C.
Abstract: SHOP (Simple Hierarchical Ordered Planner) is a domain-independent HTN planning system with the following characteristics. • SHOP plans for tasks in the same order that they will later be executed. This avoids some goal-interaction issues that arise in other HTN planners, so that the planning algorithm is relatively simple. • Since SHOP knows the complete world-state at each step of the planning process, it can use highly expressive domain representations. For example, it can do planning problems that require complex numeric computations. • In our tests, SHOP was several orders of magnitude faster man Blackbox and several times faster than TLpian, even though SHOP is coded in Lisp and the other planners are coded in C.

475 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors introduce their character-based interactive storytelling prototype that uses hierarchical task network planning techniques, which support story generation and any-time user intervention.
Abstract: Interactive storytelling is a privileged application of intelligent visual actor technology. The authors introduce their character-based interactive storytelling prototype that uses hierarchical task network planning techniques, which support story generation and any-time user intervention.

329 citations