TRIPS Pacifica Movie

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The following links provide you with a streaming RealMedia recording of a sample session with TRIPS, The Rochester Interactive Planning System. This six-and-a-half-minute real-time movie shows TRIPS' user constructing a plan to evacuate the residents of the fictitious island of Pacifica ahead of an approaching hurricane. Note in particular TRIPS' support for human decision-making, including support for hypothetical, or ``what-if'' analyses, as well as support for both top-down and bottom-up planning. TRIPS also supports intelligent plan revision in response to changes in the situation.

Connection Speed File Size Play With
Narrowband 56K 1.7 MB Plug-in Player
Broadband 200K 9.5 MB Plug-in Player

Stills from the movie:
Pacifica Initial Route Final Plan Zoomed In

Also available:

The following is a brief description of the Pacifica NEO scenario used in the Demo Movie.

General Overview

Pacifica is a small island somewhere in the ocean. There are several cities on the island and some roads connecting some of them. Because of an impending disaster, the population must be evacuated to one of the cities (the "safe" city), and from there presumably to safety. The user's task is to plan the evacuation, using a variety of vehicles at his or her disposal. There may be a variety of constraints on the required plans, such as time, cost, weather effects, and so on.


The cities on the island of Pacifica are named Abyss, Barnacle, Calypso, Delta, and Exodus. There are several smaller towns or junctions in the interior of the island.

Roads connect many of the cities. There are both major and minor roads displayed on the map, and road status can vary from "ok" to "impassable".

There are some other geographic features on the map such as beaches, cliffs, forest, etc., but these are not used in our current scenario.


There are people in the major cities at the outset of the scenario. Because of technical problems in reasoning about quantities, these are described as "groups of people", and the planning proceeds in terms of moving these groups. In our demo scenario, there are one or more groups at all cities except Delta, which is the "safe" city to which all the groups of people must be evacuated.

There are trucks and helicopters available to transport the people (two trucks and one helicopter, both initially at Delta, in the demo scenario). Again to simplify reasoning with quantities, trucks are permitted to carry any number of groups of people, while helicopters can carry only one group at a time. Trucks must follow roads to get between cities; helicopters can fly directly between any two points on the map. Weather affects truck and helicopter speed and reliability.

Removing the need for discrete quantities of people is an active research area.


There are four possible types of action that can be performed:
  • MOVE a vehicle from one location to another along some route. Obviously, when a vehicle moves, whatever is in it moves also.
  • STAY at a location (for a vehicle).
  • LOAD a group of people into a vehicle at some location.
  • UNLOAD a group of people from a vehicle at some location.
The plans produced for the Pacifica evacuation are sets of these actions, with constraints between them. In effect, the vehicles must be tasked to perform the required actions in the proper order.

When the human and the system are collaborating to form the plan, there are many different ways to describe what is to be done. Verbs like "transport", "evacuate", and other high-level actions can be used, but the system ultimately breaks these down into the primitives described above.

Demonstration Session

In general, the plan formed collaboratively by the system and the human varies from session to session. The initial conditions of the scenario (number of groups of people, number of vehicles, their locations, road conditions, etc.) can be varied, and these conditions can change (randomly or progamatically) during a session.

Last change: 30 Nov 2000 by ferguson