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We design the simple hierarchical ordered planner (SHOP) and its successor, SHOP2, with two goals in mind: to investigate research issues in automated planning and to provide some simple, practical planning tools. SHOP and SHOP2 are based on a planning formalism called hierarchical task network planning. SHOP and SHOP2 use a search-control strategy called ordered task decomposition, which breaks tasks into subtasks and generates the plan's actions in the same order that the plan executor executes them. So, throughout the planning process, the planner can tell what the state of the world at each step of the plan.