Example PLEXIL Plans

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This chapter explains a few PLEXIL plan examples, which are found in the directory plexil/examples/basic.

Example 1: A simple assignment

Our first example, SimpleAssignment.ple is very small: the plan is a single assignment node. An integer variable is declared, the postcondition is it's having a certain value, and the body is assigning this value.

  Integer foo = 0;
  PostCondition foo == 3;
  foo = 3;

Example 2: Drive to Target

Our second PLEXIL plan, DriveToTarget.ple is one for controlling a rover. In this contrived example, a rover is commanded to drive until either a target is in view, or time has reached 10. If the target comes into view, an image is taken using the Pancam. If the time limit is reached, an image is taken using the Navcam. All the while temperature is monitored, and the heater is turned on whenever temperature drops below 0, and turned off when it exceeds 10.

The root node, DriveToTarget, represents a starting point and is a Concurrence that performs (concurrently) the actions described above. This plan illustrates complex sequencing: note the specific start conditions in each subaction of the Concurrence. It also illustrates monitors, which are actions that actively await an enabling condition for execution, or a condition (e.g. timeout) that deactivates them altogether.

// A Plexil plan illustrating a simple rover driving task.

Command rover_drive (Integer);
Command rover_stop;
Command take_navcam; 
Command take_pancam;
Command turn_on_heater;

Real Lookup time;
Real Lookup temperature;
Boolean Lookup target_in_view;

Concurrence {
  Boolean drive_done = false, timeout = false;
  Drive:  rover_drive(10);
    StartCondition Lookup(time) >= 10;
    Concurrence {
      Stop: rover_stop();
      SetTimeoutFlag: timeout = true;

  Concurrence {
    StartCondition Lookup(target_in_view);
    SkipCondition timeout;
    Stop: rover_stop();
    SetDriveFlag: drive_done = true;

    StartCondition timeout;
    SkipCondition drive_done;

    StartCondition drive_done;
    SkipCondition timeout;

    SkipCondition timeout;
    StartCondition Lookup(temperature) < 0;
    EndCondition Lookup(temperature) >= 10;

Example 3: SafeDrive

This example is another rover plan and illustrates loops and sequencing.

Command Drive (Integer);
Command TakePicture;
Command pprint(...);
Boolean Lookup WheelStuck;

  Integer pictures = 0;
  EndCondition Lookup(WheelStuck) || pictures == 10;

  while (! Lookup(WheelStuck)) 
    OneMeter: { Drive(1); }
    TakePic: {
      StartCondition pictures < 10;
    Counter: {
      PreCondition pictures < 10;
      pictures = pictures + 1;
    Print: { pprint ("Pictures taken:", pictures); }

This plan's root action, SafeDrive is a While loop that continues execution so long as the rover's wheels are not stuck (as represented by a state lookup). The body of the While loop is a Sequence of three actions: OneMeter, which invokes a command that drives the rover one meter, TakePic, which invokes a command that takes a picture, and Counter, which counts the number of pictures that have been taken. The start condition of TakePic ensures that the node starts execution only when local variable pictures is strictly smaller than 10. A precondition in Counter ensures that no more than 10 pictures are taken.

More Examples

More sophisticated plans, and their associated simulation scripts, are found in the various subdirectories of plexil/examples

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