Plan recognition aims to discover target plans (i.e., sequences of actions) behind observed actions, with history plan libraries or action models in hand. Previous approaches either discover plans by maximally “matching” observed actions to plan libraries, assuming target plans are from plan libraries, or infer plans by executing action models to best explain the observed actions, assuming that complete action models are available. In real-world applications, however, target plans are often not from plan libraries, and complete action models are often not available, since building complete sets of plans and complete action models are often difficult or expensive. In this article, we view plan libraries as corpora and learn vector representations of actions using the corpora; we then discover target plans based on the vector representations. Specifically, we propose two approaches, DUP and RNNPlanner, to discover target plans based on vector representations of actions. DUP explores the EM-style (Expectation Maximization) framework to capture local contexts of actions and discover target plans by optimizing the probability of target plans, while RNNPlanner aims to leverage long-short term contexts of actions based on RNNs (Recurrent Neural Networks) framework to help recognize target plans. In the experiments, we empirically show that our approaches are capable of discovering underlying plans that are not from plan libraries without requiring action models provided. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approaches by comparing its performance to traditional plan recognition approaches in three planning domains. We also compare DUP and RNNPlanner to see their advantages and disadvantages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Action representation
  • Plan recognition
  • Recurrent neural networks
  • Shallow model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence


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