Learning Probabilistic Hierarchical Task Networks to Capture User Preferences

While much work on learning in planning focused on learning domain physics (i.e., action models), and search control knowledge, little attention has been paid towards learning user preferences on desirable plans. Hierarchical task networks (HTN) are known to provide an effective way to encode user prescriptions about what constitute good plans. However, manual construction of these methods is complex and error prone. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to learning probabilistic hierarchical task networks that capture user preferences by examining user-produced plans given no prior information about the methods (in contrast, most prior work on learning within the HTN framework focused on learning “method preconditions”—i.e., domain physics—assuming that the structure of the methods is given as input). We will show that this problem has close parallels to the problem of probabilistic grammar induction, and describe how grammar induction methods can be adapted to learn task networks. We will empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by showing that task networks we learn are able to generate plans with a distribution close to the distribution of the userpreferred plans.

Nan Li, Subbarao Kambhampati, Sungwook Yoon