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Integrating Action and Reasoning through Simulation



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Integrating Action and Reasoning through Simulation Samuel Wintermute University of Michigan 2260 Hayward St Ann Arbor MI 48109 2121 swinterm umich edu Abstract This paper presents an approach for integrating action in the world with general symbolic reasoning Instead of working with task specific symbolic abstractions of continuous space our system mediates action through a simple spatial representation Low level action controllers work in the context of this representation and a high level symbolic system has access to it By allowing actions to be spatially simulated general reasoning about action is possible Only very simple task independent symbolic abstractions of space are necessary and controllers can be used without the need for symbolic characterization of their behavior We draw parallels between this system and a modern robotic motion planning algorithm RRT This algorithm is instantiated in our system and serves as a case study showing how the architecture can effectively address real robotics problems Introduction It has been argued by many that low level motor control and perception are critically important for intelligent behavior in embodied agents e g Brooks 1991 These views are often put in contrast with more traditional views of intelligence that emphasize symbolic processing e g Newell 1992 To date adherents on either side haven t built robots that have exhibited anything close to general intelligence Solely symbolic robots are rigid and unable to deal with the subtlety of the real world where every relevant perception needed to control action doesn t directly map onto a symbol Robots without a symbolic level however aren t able to comprehend tasks anywhere near the level of complexity of those that humans perform as those tasks can require reasoning at a much higher level than raw perception Attempts have been made to bridge deliberative symbolic reasoning and continuous reactive behavior Many of these systems fit the general diagram in Figure 1a



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