Planning problems are usually expressed by speci- fying which actions can be performed to obtain a given goal. In temporal planning problems, actions come with a time duration and can overlap in time, which noticeably increase the complex- ity of the reasoning process. Action-based temporal planning has been thoroughly studied from the complexity-theoretic point of view, and it has been proved to be EXPSPACE- complete in its general formulation. Conversely, timeline- based planning problems are represented as a collection of variables whose time-varying behavior is governed by a set of temporal constraints, called synchronization rules. Timelines provide a unified framework to reason about planning and execution under uncertainty. Timeline-based systems are being successfully employed in real-world complex tasks, but, in contrast to action-based planning, little is known on their computational complexity and expressiveness. In particular, a comparison of the expressiveness of the action- and timeline- based formalisms is still missing. This paper contributes a first step in this direction by proving that timelines are expressive enough to capture action-based temporal planning, showing as a byproduct the EXPSPACE-completeness of timeline-based planning with no temporal horizon and bounded temporal relations only.
Gigante, N., Montanari, A., Cialdea, M., Orlandini, A. (2016). Timelines Are Expressive Enough to Capture Action-Based Temporal Planning. In 2016 23rd International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning (TIME) (pp.100-109). IEEE [10.1109/TIME.2016.18].