Using Pre-Computed Knowledge for Goal Allocation in Multi-Agent Planning Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2019

start page

  • 165

end page

  • 190

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 98

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0921-0296

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-0409

abstract

  • Many real-world robotic scenarios require performing task planning to decide courses of actions to be executed by (possibly heterogeneous) robots. A classical centralized planning approach has to find a solution inside a search space that contains every possible combination of robots and goals. This leads to inefficient solutions that do not scale well. Multi-Agent Planning (MAP) provides a new way to solve this kind of tasks efficiently. Previous works on MAP have proposed to factorize the problem to decrease the planning effort i.e. dividing the goals among the agents (robots). However, these techniques do not scale when the number of agents and goals grow. Also, in most real world scenarios with big maps, goals might not be reached by every robot so it has a computational cost associated. In this paper we propose a combination of robotics and planning techniques to alleviate and boost the computation of the goal assignment process. We use Actuation Maps (AMs). Given a map, AMs can determine the regions each agent can actuate on. Thus, specific information can be extracted to know which goals can be tackled by each agent, as well as cheaply estimating the cost of using each agent to achieve every goal. Experiments show that when information extracted from AMs is provided to a multi-agent planning algorithm, the goal assignment is significantly faster, speeding-up the planning process considerably. Experiments also show that this approach greatly outperforms classical centralized planning.

keywords

  • actuation maps; distributed planning; goal allocation; multi agent planning; path planning; robotics