2018 Planning Algorithm

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Systems and Control Engineering
Kurabayashi Daisuke 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
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Course description and aims

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of planning algorithms. Concept of planning, tools for planning, and consideration of uncertainty will be introduced. Graph theory, Graph search, sampling based planning, combinatorial planning, configuration space, decision theoretic planning, and planning using potential will be discussed.

Planning algorithm are used to derive target trajectory for control systems. For example, path planning for mobile robots, production planning for manufacturers, and collision avoidance of multiple manipulators, etc. Students should be familiar with abstracted models of problems in the world.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to explain the model and solutions for planning problems and will be able to select suitable methods for planning problems.


Planning, graph, configuration space, sampling, combination, uncertaity, complexity

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

In the class, selected issues about planning algorithms will be presented. The instructor presents single topic in each class. Discussions or quiz will be asked to students in each class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction to Planning Algorithms Students must be able to express the concept of planning algorithms and be able to measure computational complexity of a problem.
Class 2 Graphs and Systematic Search Students must be able to represent graph expressions of some discrete space problems and be able to select appropriate method for searching.
Class 3 Phase and Configuration Students must be able to explain the phase and the configuration space of a state space of a planning problem.
Class 4 Sampling based Algorithms Students should become familiar with algorithms based on sampling.
Class 5 Combinatorial Planning Students should become familiar with algorithms based on combinatorial methods.
Class 6 Decision-theoretic Planning Students must be able to explain uncertainty of planning problems.
Class 7 Planning under Sensing Uncertainty Students must be able to explain models and expressions of planning problems under sensing uncertainty.
Class 8 Potential Methods Students should be familiar with solutions by using potential.


Steven M. LaValle (2006) Planning Algorithms. Cambridge University Press.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts will be distributed at the beginning of class when necessary.

Assessment criteria and methods

Quiz at lecture: 20%, final report : 80%

Related courses

  • Stochastic Systems

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students are expected to have knowledge of the basis of linear control systems and stochastic systems

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