CSPs at Work: Relevance of interaction modules to deploy applications

A. Cesta, G. Cortellessa, A. Oddi, and N. Policella

In Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on User Interaction in Constraint Satisfaction, Kinsale, Ireland, September 29, pp. 70-84, B. O'Sullivan and E.C. Freuder (Eds.), 2003

This paper describes an innovative application of AI technology in the area of space mission planning. A system called Mexar has been developed to synthesize spacecraft operational commands for the memory dumping problem of the ESA mission called Mars Express. The approach implemented in Mexar is centered on constraint satisfaction techniques enhanced with flexible user interaction modalities. This paper describes the effort in developing a complete application that models and solves a problem, and also offers functionalities to help users in interacting with different aspects of the problem. An elaborate interactive environment has been designed and integrated into the system, that helps mission planners to analyze the current problem and take scheduling decisions as result of an interactive process enhanced by different and sophisticated facilities. The paper surveys the design principles underlying the whole project and shows the leading role of the interactive environment in the development of end-to-end applications.