Automated planning for process automation

The phase of analysis of the early requirements focuses on the intentions of the stakeholders involved in the project. For the purpose of this analysis, stakeholders are modeled as actors and their intentions as goals to be met. Attaining these goals is guaranteed through a decomposition process into simpler sub-goals using goal-oriented techniques. More precisely, this decomposition phase consists in the introduction of new actors that guarantee the satisfaction of one or more (sub)-goals, given that a set of conditions (called preconditions) are met. These preconditions, if they are not satisfied by the environment or verified by another actor, will become new (sub)-goals and will generate more decomposition steps. The final result hence consists in a "diagram of the goals" where all the actors are represented, each one with its own goals and preconditions, as well as all the dependencies and interactions among the actors. The goal-decomposition mechanism and the introduction of actors correspond to an automated planning problem. In this context, planning techniques will be used to synthesize automatically these diagrams, given the set of goals that we want to attain and the set of actors that we can use or introduce. In this context, it is possible to foresee that the system produces several alternatives, each one corresponding to a different plan, and each one will be presented to the designer for further analysis.

We will use planning techniques based on Binary Decision Diagrams (BDD) [Bry92], based on prepositional reasoning (SAT) [KS96], and based on quantified Boolean formulae (QBF).

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