Framer: Planning Models from Natural Language Action Descriptions


In this paper, we describe an approach for learning planning domain models directly from natural language (NL) descriptions of activity sequences. The modelling problem has been identified as a bottleneck for the widespread exploitation of various technologies in Artificial Intelligence, including automated planners. There have been great advances in modelling assisting and model generation tools, including a wide range of domain model acquisition tools. However, for modelling tools, there is the underlying assumption that the user can formulate the problem using some formal language. And even in the case of the domain model acquisition tools, there is still a requirement to specify input plans in an easily machine readable format. Providing this type of input is impractical for many potential users. This motivates us to generate planning domain models directly from NL descriptions, as this would provide an important step in extending the widespread adoption of planning techniques. We start from NL descriptions of actions and use NL analysis to construct structured representations, from which we construct formal representations of the action sequences. The generated action sequences provide the necessary structured input for inducing a PDDL domain, using domain model acquisition technology. In order to capture a concise planning model, we use an estimate of functional similarity, so sentences that describe similar behaviours are represented by the same planning operator. We validate our approach with a user study, where participants are tasked with describing the activities occurring in several videos. Then our system is used to learn planning domain models using the participants’ NL input. We demonstrate that our approach is effective at learning models on these tasks.

In the Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2017)
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My research interests include software reliability, software verification, and formal methods applied to software engineering. I am also interested in interactive storytelling. For more details, see some of my projects or my selected (or recent) publications. More posts are available in my blog. Follow me on Twitter or add me on LinkedIn.