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Using Explainable Scheduling for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission

by   Jagriti Agrawal, et al.

Understanding the reasoning behind the behavior of an automated scheduling system is essential to ensure that it will be trusted and consequently used to its full capabilities in critical applications. In cases where a scheduler schedules activities in an invalid location, it is usually easy for the user to infer the missing constraint by inspecting the schedule with the invalid activity to determine the missing constraint. If a scheduler fails to schedule activities because constraints could not be satisfied, determining the cause can be more challenging. In such cases it is important to understand which constraints caused the activities to fail to be scheduled and how to alter constraints to achieve the desired schedule. In this paper, we describe such a scheduling system for NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, as well as Crosscheck, an explainable scheduling tool that explains the scheduler behavior. The scheduling system and Crosscheck are the baseline for operational use to schedule activities for the Mars 2020 rover. As we describe, the scheduler generates a schedule given a set of activities and their constraints and Crosscheck: (1) provides a visual representation of the generated schedule; (2) analyzes and explains why activities failed to schedule given the constraints provided; and (3) provides guidance on potential constraint relaxations to enable the activities to schedule in future scheduler runs.


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