The Use Of Plans
by Pollack, Martha
Technical Note 517
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
I argue that, contrary to the challenges raised in the work of Brooks and others, intelligent agents are essentially planning agents. I claim that philosophical and commonsense psychological theorizing about the process of planning can provide useful insights into the question of agent design. The theories I discuss are not restricted to how agents can form plans, but also concern the ways in which agents use their plans. Specifically, I describe the use of plans to guide action as well as to control reasoning and to enable inter-agent coordination. These uses of plans make possible intelligent behavior in complex, dynamic, multiagent environments. This paper is a slightly revised transcription of a lecture presented upon receipt of the Computers and Thought Award at the 12th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Sydney, Australia, on August 26, 1991.