The Pacifica Domain

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The Pacifica domain builds on our experience with the TRAINS system (Ferguson et al 1996; Allen et al 1995; Ferguson, Allen, and Miller 1996), but is different in several ways:

  • It functions in a more complex domain than TRAINS' route-planning domain
  • It supports the construction of much more complex plans than TRAINS could produce or understand
  • It embodies a more complex model of collaborative problem-solving than TRAINS

Map of Pacifica used in the Pacifica domain

The Pacifica domain

In the Pacifica domain, TRIPS is an assistant to a human manager. The two collaborate to construct plans in crisis situations involving the island of Pacifica. A typical scenario involves an approaching hurricane necessitating the evacuation of the population to one of the cities on the island, and from there presumably to safety. The manager's task is to plan the evacuation, using a variety of vehicles (e.g. trucks, helicopters). There may be a variety of constraints placed on the final plans, such as time, cost, weather-related factors, and so on.

The important features of this scenario as a research environment are:

  • It is clear what the task is and when it is completed
  • The relative quality of the solution is easily measured (in terms of time, violated constraints, or some measure of robustness, for example)
  • It is easy to vary the complexity of the task from trivially solvable to problems that people would have difficulty solving and, in fact, that TRIPS could not solve on its own (e.g. increase numbers of people, change numbers and types of vehicles, modify road network, and so on)
The first two aspects make evaluation possible, while the third lets us work incrementally on progressively harder problems.

There is also a movie about TRIPS Pacifica.

This document was taken from George Ferguson and James F. Allen, ``TRIPS: An Intelligent Integrated Problem-Solving Assistant,'' Proceedings of the Fifteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-98), Madison, WI, 26-30 July, 1998, pp. 567-573. [PDF]

Last change: 2 Nov 2000 by stent