, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 165-186

Ability and Knowing How in the Situation Calculus

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Abstract

Most agents can acquire information about their environments as they operate. A good plan for such an agent is one that not only achieves the goal, but is also executable, i.e., ensures that the agent has enough information at every step to know what to do next. In this paper, we present a formal account of what it means for an agent to know how to execute a plan and to be able to achieve a goal. Such a theory is a prerequisite for producing specifications of planners for agents that can acquire information at run time. It is also essential to account for cooperation among agents. Our account is more general than previous proposals, correctly handles programs containing loops, and incorporates a solution to the frame problem. It can also be used to prove programs containing sensing actions correct.