Summary

“Action Language” is a language type used to describe actions in the realm of artificial intelligence. It simplifies expressing complex interactions, making them easier to compute and reason about.

ELI5

Imagine you’re playing a game of chess, and every time you move a piece, you shout out exactly what you’re doing - “Knight to E4! Bishop to C6!” That’s kind of what Action Language is. In the world of artificial intelligence, it’s a special language used to describe actions, like “robot picking up box” or “AI bot scheduling a meeting”.

In-depth explanation

Within the field of artificial intelligence, being able to effectively denote tasks and actions is key. This need is addressed with “Action Languages”, a specialized class of languages designed specifically for representing actions and change in the world.

These languages distinguish between different sorts of actions (like physical actions or informational actions), various stages of actions (preconditions, execution, effects), and potential obstacles to or outcomes of actions. They are one of the principal methods to portray situations and effects in logical AI and automated planning.

Action Languages can trace their origins back to the Situation Calculus and the Stanford Research Institute Problem Solver (STRIPS), two classical formal systems used to depict actions within automated planning. These models influenced the design of subsequent languages, which constructed refined means for specifying actions.

Action languages such as A, B, and C have been introduced to solve problems that arise when actions, which cause indirect effects, are formalized. They have specific ways to describe cause and effect relationships which are very expressive.

Despite their names, action languages are about more than actions; they also deal with fluents. Fluents are properties that can have different values at different times. For example, the fluent “light” could have the value “on” at one time and “off” at another.

Finally, any serious application of robotics or processing of natural languages would likely rely on a planner that handles action languages. For instance, a robot might need to reason about actions such as “move”, “grasp”, and “release” in order to form a plan to pour a glass of water.

STRIPS, PDDL (Planning Domain Definition Language), Fluent, Situation Calculus, Temporal Logic, Robotic Process Automation, Automated Planning.