Uncertainty in predictability

Chapter 10 takes the concepts from Chapter 9 and iterates them over multiple stages. This brings in the notions of states and state transitions, and can be considered as a blending of discrete planning concepts from Chapter 2 with the uncertainty concepts of Chapter 9. Some coverage of continuous state spaces and continuous time is also given, which extends ideas from Part II. The state transition equation is generally extended to allow future states to depend on unknown actions taken by nature. In a game-theoretic setting, the state transitions may even depend on the actions of more than two decision makers.

For all of the models in Chapter 10, only uncertainty in predictability exists; the current state is always known. A plan is defined as a function that indicates the appropriate action to take from any current state. Plans are not formulated as a sequence of actions because future states are unpredictable, and responses to the future states may be required at the time they are achieved. Thus, for a fixed plan, the execution may be different each time: Different actions are applied and different states are reached. Plans are generally evaluated using worst-case, expected-case, or game-equilibrium analysis.

Steven M LaValle 2012-04-20