In defense of PDDL axioms

Sylvie Thiébaux, Jörg Hoffmann, Bernhard Nebel*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    97 Citations (Scopus)


    There is controversy as to whether explicit support for pddl-like axioms and derived predicates is needed for planners to handle real-world domains effectively. Many researchers have deplored the lack of precise semantics for such axioms, while others have argued that it might be best to compile them away. We propose an adequate semantics for pddl axioms and show that they are an essential feature by proving that it is impossible to compile them away if we restrict the growth of plans and domain descriptions to be polynomial. These results suggest that adding a reasonable implementation to handle axioms inside the planner is beneficial for the performance. Our experiments confirm this suggestion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-69
    Number of pages32
    JournalArtificial Intelligence
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


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