Random Problem Domains

Random problem domains are produced by first creating a random action specification defining the domain dynamics. Some of the experiments we conducted20 also involved producing, in a second step, a random reward specification that had desired properties in relation to the generated dynamics. The random generation of the domain dynamics takes as parameters the number $n$ of propositions in the domain and the number of actions to be produced, and starts by assigning some effects to each action such that each proposition is affected by exactly one action. For example, if we have 5 actions and 14 propositions, the first 4 actions may affect 3 propositions each, the 5th one only 2, and the affected propositions are all different. Once each action has some initial effects, we continue to add more effects one at a time, until a sufficient proportion of the state space is reachable - see ``proportion reachable'' parameter below. Each additional effect is generated by picking up a random action and a random proposition, and producing a random decision diagram according to the ``uncertainty'' and ``structure'' parameters below:
The Uncertainty parameter is the probability of a non zero/one value as a leaf node. An uncertainty of 1 will result in all leaf nodes having random values from a uniform distribution. An uncertainty of 0 will result in all leaf nodes having values 0 or 1 with an equal probability.
The Structure (or influence) parameter is the probability of a decision diagram containing a particular proposition. So an influence of 1 will result in all decision diagrams including all propositions (and very unlikely to have significant structure), while 0 will result in decision diagrams that do not depend on the values of propositions.
The Proportion Reachable parameter is a lower bound on the proportion of the entire $2^n$ state space that is reachable from the start state. The algorithm adds behaviour until this lower bound is reached. A value of 1 will result in the algorithm running until the actions are sufficient to allow the entire state space to be reachable.
A reward specification can be produced with regard to the generated dynamics such that a specified number of the rewards are reachable and a specified number are unreachable. First, a decision diagram is produced to represent which states are reachable and which are not, given the domain dynamics. Next, a random path is taken from the root of this decision diagram to a true terminal if we are generating an attainable reward, or a false terminal if we are producing an unattainable reward. The propositions encountered on this path, both negated and not, form a conjunction that is the reward formula. This process is repeated until the desired number of reachable and unreachable rewards are obtained.
Sylvie Thiebaux 2006-01-20