An Explanation Oriented Dialogue Approach and Its Application to Wicked Planning Problems

keywords: Wicked planning problems, explanations, dialogues
In this paper we consider an interactive and explanation based dialogue approach to complex and `wicked' planning problems. Wicked problems are essentially imprecisely formulated problems having no clearly defined goals and constraints. The dialogue approach is aimed at reducing the problem complexity during interaction with the human expert. The involved software agents are mostly optimization procedures. The approach contains the following steps: (1) Selection of a specific concern in a proposed solution; (2) Calculation of a stakeholder defined ideal plan; and (3) Comparing the actually generated plan and the prototype based on a similarity measure. The comparison of the actual and the ideal plan looks at aspects of interest for the stakeholder such as resource consumptions or structural properties of the plan. The proposed approach is generic and was applied and customized to three classes of wicked problems: release planning, investment planning, and urban planning. All three applications are described and illustrated in the paper.
reference: Vol. 25, 2006, No. 2-3, pp. 223–249