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Title:Reasoning with Plans: Inference of Semantic Relationships Among Plans About Urban Development
Author(s):Kaza, Nikhil
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hopkins, Lewis D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Pallathucheril, Varkki G.; Donaghy, Kieran P.; Worboys, Michael F.
Department / Program:Regional Planning
Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Plans have been considered the end products of planning activity, and research has focused on how plans are made. Careful thought has not been accorded to how plans are used, after they are made, in reasoning about and choosing how to act. In any given situation, various organisations make plans, some of which have overlapping scopes and intersecting intentions. As a result, the actions considered in these plans have semantic relationships such as substitutability, interdependence, and contingency with one another. The purpose of this dissertation is to identify and explain the semantic relationships between actions within and among plans to better understand how to reason with plans and about actions. The thesis defended is that it is useful and possible to reason from multiple plans when deciding what to do. A plan contains information about interdependencies and uncertainties of multiple decisions and actions considered by an actor. These relationships are not limited to actions within one’s own purview. One has to consider also the effects of others’ actions and intentions on one’s own. Since a single plan cannot account for all these interdependencies even for one actor, every actor should consider multiple plans–both plans of her own and those of others–in making decisions. This dissertation examines the various plans made over time by various organisations in McHenry and Champaign counties in Illinois. Relationships between ii actions within and among multiple plans can be discovered using attributes of actions and the configurations of actions within a single plan so that they can be considered in future planning and decision making. It builds upon multiple disciplines and methodologies to represent actions, situations, intentions, and relationships among them. Simple databases based on real situations were used to demonstrate that these relationships can be encoded and queried in reasoning with plans. The results demonstrated that previously discovered semantic relationships can be used to discover additional relationships across plans thereby enriching the decision making. The approach provides a systematic way of structuring the information in plans so that reasoning about relationships among actions across multiple plans is possible.
Issue Date:2008
Citation Info:Dissertation Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Regional Planning in the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2008 by Nikhil Kaza. Some Rights Reserved. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-04-14

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