The Role of IPC in Setting Standards for Experimental Evaluation in Planning ResearchDownload PDF


Apr 13, 2019 (edited May 21, 2019)ICAPS 2019 Workshop WIPC Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Abstract: Designing an experiment, specifically choosing a baseline for comparison as well as the benchmark set, that adequately evaluates the performance of a new suggested technique is a challenging task. Arguably, planner performance in a competition may affect the choice of a baseline. Further, the benchmark set choice may be biased towards the more recent domains, or, sometimes, the other way around, the most recent domains might be ignored. We observed that the collection of domains introduced in a competition often aims at fostering research into a specific issue (e.g., general costs, conditional effects, large number of parameters) and thus the best performers in a competition, while excelling on these domains, might exhibit worse performance on other domains. Thus, the results of IPCs might sometimes be misinterpreted and misleading in general. We suggest to extend the experimental evaluation performed at future IPCs to include as many available domains as possible. For fans of the current setting that evaluates planners exclusively on new, unseen domains, this extended evaluation could be an \emph{additional} evaluation. Furthermore, we suggest to create various suites according to task features and present additional performance information for existing relevant planners on each such suite. That might require to maintain such features, as well as label planning tasks according to these features, preferably in an automated manner. Such information can help, among other, in identifying the current state-of-the-art for specific fragments of planning, as well as the relevant benchmark set, making designing an experiment easier, mitigating possible biases.
  • Track: discussion topic (5 minutes)
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