Learning Feasibility for Task and Motion Planning in Tabletop Environments

A. M. Wells, N. T. Dantam, A. Shrivastava, and L. E. Kavraki, “Learning Feasibility for Task and Motion Planning in Tabletop Environments,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1255–1262, Apr. 2019.


Task and motion planning (TMP) combines discrete search and continuous motion planning. Earlier work has shown that to efficiently find a task-motion plan, the discrete search can leverage information about the continuous geometry. However, incorporating continuous elements into discrete planners presents challenges. We improve the scalability of TMP algorithms in tabletop scenarios with a fixed robot by introducing geometric knowledge into a constraint-based task planner in a robust way. The key idea is to learn a classifier for feasible motions and to use this classifier as a heuristic to order the search for a task-motion plan. The learned heuristic guides the search towards feasible motions and thus reduces the total number of motion planning attempts. A critical property of our approach is allowing robust planning in diverse scenes. We train the classifier on minimal exemplar scenes and then use principled approximations to apply the classifier to complex scenarios in a way that minimizes the effect of errors. By combining learning with planning, our heuristic yields order-of-magnitude run time improvements in diverse tabletop scenarios. Even when classification errors are present, properly biasing our heuristic ensures we will have little computational penalty

Publisher: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2019.2894861

PDF preprint: http://kavrakilab.org/publications/wells2019learning-feasibility-for-tmp.pdf