Exploring lifted planning encodings in Essence Prime

Joan Espasa, Jordi Coll, Ian Miguel, Mateu Villaret

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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State-space planning is the de-facto search method of the automated planning community. Planning problems are typically expressed in the Planning Domain Definition Language (PDDL), where action and variable templates describe the sets of actions and variables that occur in the problem. Typically, a planner begins by generating the full set of instantiations of these templates, which in turn are used to derive useful heuristics that guide the search. Thanks to this success, there has been limited research in other directions. We explore a different approach, keeping the compact representation by directly reformulating the problem in PDDL into ESSENCE PRIME, a Constraint Programming language with support for distinct solving technologies including SAT and SMT. In particular, we explore two different encodings from PDDL to ESSENCE PRIME, how they represent action parameters, and their performance. The encodings are able to maintain the compactness of the PDDL representation, and while they differ slightly, they perform quite differently on various instances from the International Planning Competition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence Research and Development
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd International Conference of the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence
EditorsMateu Villaret, Teresa Alsinet, Cèsar Fernández, Aïda Valls
PublisherIOS Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781643682112
ISBN (Print)9781643682105
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021
Event23rd International Conference of the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence - University of Lleida
Duration: 20 Oct 202122 Oct 2021
Conference number: 23

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0922-6389


Conference23rd International Conference of the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence
Abbreviated titleCCIA
Internet address


  • Reformulation
  • Modelling
  • Automated Planning
  • Constraint Programming


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