Acta Informatica

, Volume 53, Issue 6–8, pp 649–680 | Cite as

Planning and execution with flexible timelines: a formal account

  • Marta Cialdea Mayer
  • Andrea Orlandini
  • Alessandro Umbrico
Original Article


Planning for real world problems with explicit temporal constraints is a challenging problem. Among several approaches, the use of flexible timelines in Planning and Scheduling has been shown to be successful in a number of concrete applications, such as, for instance, autonomous space systems. This paper builds on previous work and presents a revised and extended formal account of flexible timelines with the aim of providing a general semantics for related planning concepts such as domains, goals, problems, constraints, and flexible plans. Some sources of uncertainty are also modeled in the proposed framework and taken into account in the characterization of valid plans that are assumed not to take decisions on components the planner cannot control. A formal definition of different forms of plan controllability is also proposed.



The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers of this work for pointing out some flaws in the original presentation, as well as for their valuable comments and suggestions. Andrea Orlandini acknowledges the support of the FourByThree project (H2020—Factories of the Future—G.A. nr. 637095).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di IngegneriaUniversità degli Studi Roma TreRomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della CognizioneConsiglio Nazionale delle RicercheRomeItaly

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