A* Search and Bound-Sensitive Heuristics for Oversubscription Planning
Oversubscription planning (OSP) is the problem of finding plans that maximize the utility value of their end state while staying within a specified cost bound. Recently, it has been shown that OSP problems can be reformulated as classical planning problems with multiple cost functions but no utilities. Here we take advantage of this reformulation to show that OSP problems can be solved optimally using the A* search algorithm, in contrast to previous approaches that have used variations on branch- and-bound search. This allows many powerful techniques developed for classical planning to be applied to OSP problems. We also introduce novel bound-sensitive heuristics, which are able to reason about the primary cost of a solution while taking into account secondary cost functions and bounds, to provide superior guidance compared to heuristics that do not take these bounds into account. We implement two such bound-sensitive variants of existing classical planning heuristics, and show experimentally that the resulting search is significantly more informed than comparable heuristics that do not consider bounds.