1.2 Motivational Examples and Applications

Planning problems abound. This section surveys several examples and applications to inspire you to read further.

Why study planning algorithms? There are at least two good reasons. First, it is fun to try to get machines to solve problems for which even humans have great difficulty. This involves exciting challenges in modeling planning problems, designing efficient algorithms, and developing robust implementations. Second, planning algorithms have achieved widespread successes in several industries and academic disciplines, including robotics, manufacturing, drug design, and aerospace applications. The rapid growth in recent years indicates that many more fascinating applications may be on the horizon. These are exciting times to study planning algorithms and contribute to their development and use.


Steven M LaValle 2012-04-20