TRIPS, The Rochester Interactive Planning System, is the latest in
a series of research prototypes. Its immediate predecessor, the
TRAINS system, was one of the first systems
to participate in an end-to-end conversation with a human to
accomplish a planning-like task.
Compared to TRAINS:
- TRIPS operates in a significantly more complex logistics and
transportation world, with cargos being delivered using a variety
of vehicles (TRAINS was concerned exclusively with routing trains
- TRIPS performs significantly more complex planning, including
coordinating the actions of multiple agents, reasoning about
temporally extended actions, handling some resource constraints,
and so on, all as quickly as possible (TRAINS really didn't need
to do much planning, since the task was essentially one of
- TRIPS has a more sophisticated graphical view of the plan(s) under
consideration, including a construction window view (timeline)
modeled after Adobe Premiere's and task palettes modeled after
Photoshop's layers. It also has a few types of charts that can be
used to answer certain kinds of queries from the manager (In
TRAINS there was only the map display).
- TRIPS supports ``what-if'' scenarios for comparing options, for
example ``What if we went along the coast?'' or ``What if we used
a helicopter instead?''
- TRIPS includes a simulator module that performs multi-run
stochastic simulation of plans, gathers statistics on action
executions and the world state, and produces results that can be
viewed with the same tools. It also performs data-mining to
extract events that significantly affect plan success or failure
and communicates these to the user.
- TRIPS, like TRAINS, is a multi-process, fully-networkable set of
modules that exchange KQML message through a general-purpose Input
Manager. In TRIPS, even more of the functionality is divided into
separate modules, improving code modularity, development and
debugging, and often performance.
The TRAINS system established the feasibility of the dialogue-based
approach to building a collaborative planning assistant. The TRIPS
system continues this development by supporting scenarios complex
enough for humans to require the system's help in order to solve