In this paper, we propose the PARIS approach for improving complex problem solving by learning from previous cases. In this approach, abstract planning cases are learned from given concrete cases. For this purpose, we have developed a new abstraction methodology that allows to completely change the representation language of a planning case, when the concrete and abstract languages are given by the user. Furthermore, we present a learning algorithm which is correct and complete with respect to the introduced model. An empirical study in the domain of process planning in mechanical engineering shows significant improvements in planning efficiency through learning abstract cases while an explanation-based learning method only causes a very slight improvement.
Case-based problem solving can be significantly improved by applying domain knowledge (in opposition to problem solving knowledge), which can be acquired with reasonable effort, to derive explanations of the correctness of a case. Such explanations, constructed on several levels of abstraction, can be employed as the basis for similarity assessment as well as for adaptation by solution refinement. The general approach for explanation-based similarity can be applied to different real world problem solving tasks such as diagnosis and planning in technical areas. This paper presents the general idea as well as the two specific, completely implemented realizations for a diagnosis and a planning task.