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Distributed Allocation and Scheduling of Tasks with Cross-Schedule Dependencies for Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Teams

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

To enable safe and efficient use of multi-robot systems in everyday life, a robust and fast method for coordinating their actions must be developed. In this paper, we present a distributed task allocation and scheduling algorithm for missions where the tasks of different robots are tightly coupled with temporal and precedence constraints. The approach is based on representing the problem as a variant of the vehicle routing problem, and the solution is found using a distributed metaheuristic algorithm based on evolutionary computation (CBM-pop). Such an approach allows a fast and near-optimal allocation and can therefore be used for online replanning in case of task changes. Simulation results show that the approach has better computational speed and scalability without loss of optimality compared to the state-of-the-art distributed methods. An application of the planning procedure to a practical use case of a greenhouse maintained by a multi-robot system is given.


Multi-Robot Allocation of Tasks with Temporal and Ordering Constraints

AAAI Conferences

Task allocation is ubiquitous in computer science and robotics, yet some problems have received limited attention in the computer science and AI community. Specifically, we will focus on multi-robot task allocation problems when tasks have time windows or ordering constraints. We will outline the main lines ofresearch and open problems.


Learning to Dynamically Coordinate Multi-Robot Teams in Graph Attention Networks

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works. Abstract -- Increasing interest in integrating advanced robotics within manufacturing has spurred a renewed concentration in developing real-time scheduling solutions to coordinate human-robot collaboration in this environment. Traditionally, the problem of scheduling agents to complete tasks with temporal and spatial constraints has been approached either with exact algorithms, which are computationally intractable for large-scale, dynamic coordination, or approximate methods that require domain experts to craft heuristics for each application. We seek to overcome the limitations of these conventional methods by developing a novel graph attention network formulation to automatically learn features of scheduling problems to allow their deployment. T o learn effective policies for combinatorial optimization problems via machine learning, we combine imitation learning on smaller problems with deep Q-learning on larger problems, in a nonparametric framework, to allow for fast, near-optimal scheduling of robot teams. We show that our network-based policy finds at least twice as many solutions over prior state-of-the-art methods in all testing scenarios. I. INTRODUCTION Advances in robotic technology are enabling the introduction of mobile robots into manufacturing environments alongside human workers.


Winner Determination for Simultaneous Multi-Robot Task Allocation

AAAI Conferences

Multi-robot task allocation is an important problem for heterogeneous mobile robots. Simultaneous allocations with which multiple tasks are being allocated concurrently tend to lead to more efficient allocations than online or single task allocations. However, the simultaneous allocation also increases the complexity in the winner determination process, especially when robots are required to collaborate in order to accomplish certain tasks. This paper presents a winner determination algorithm for the simultaneous allocation of multi-robot tasks. The complete approach layers alow-level coalition formation algorithm for solving one multi-robot task with a high-level simultaneous task allocation approach. We implement a tree-based winner determination algorithm with an iterative deepening A* (IDA*) search and show that the algorithm is able to generate the optimal task-coalition mapping in the initial round and the IDA* performs efficiently based on time and space complexities.


Current Advancements on Autonomous Mission Planning and Management Systems: an AUV and UAV perspective

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Analyzing encircling situation is the most crucial part of autonomous adaptation. Since there are many unknown and constantly changing factors in the real environment, momentary adjustment to the consistently alternating circumstances is highly required for addressing autonomy. To respond properly to changing environment, an utterly self-ruling vehicle ought to have the capacity to realize/comprehend its particular position and the surrounding environment. However, these vehicles extremely rely on human involvement to resolve entangled missions that cannot be precisely characterized in advance, which restricts their applications and accuracy. Reducing dependence on human supervision can be achieved by improving level of autonomy. Over the previous decades, autonomy and mission planning have been extensively researched on different structures and diverse conditions; nevertheless, aiming at robust mission planning in extreme conditions, here we provide exhaustive study of UVs autonomy as well as its related properties in internal and external situation awareness. In the following discussion, different difficulties in the scope of AUVs and UAVs will be discussed.