We discuss milestones on the tour towards DPLL(MAPF), a multi-agent path finding (MAPF) solver fully integrated with the Davis-Putnam-Logemann-Loveland (DPLL) propositional satisfiability testing algorithm through satisfiability modulo theories (SMT). The task in MAPF is to navigate agents in an undirected graph in a non-colliding way so that each agent eventually reaches its unique goal vertex. At most one agent can reside in a vertex at a time. Agents can move instantaneously by traversing edges provided the movement does not result in a collision. Recently attempts to solve MAPF optimally w.r.t. the sum-of-costs or the makespan based on the reduction of MAPF to propositional satisfiability (SAT) have appeared. The most successful methods rely on building the propositional encoding for the given MAPF instance lazily by a process inspired in the SMT paradigm. The integration of satisfiability testing by the SAT solver and the high-level construction of the encoding is however relatively loose in existing methods. Therefore the ultimate goal of research in this direction is to build the DPLL(MAPF) algorithm, a MAPF solver where the construction of the encoding is fully integrated with the underlying SAT solver. We discuss the current state-of-the-art in MAPF solving and what steps need to be done to get DPLL(MAPF). The advantages of DPLL(MAPF) in terms of its potential to be alternatively parametrized with MAPF$^R$, a theory of continuous MAPF with geometric agents, are also discussed.

Surynek, Pavel, Kumar, T. K. Satish, Koenig, Sven

In multi-agent path finding (MAPF) the task is to navigate agents from their starting positions to given individual goals. The problem takes place in an undirected graph whose vertices represent positions and edges define the topology. Agents can move to neighbor vertices across edges. In the standard MAPF, space occupation by agents is modeled by a capacity constraint that permits at most one agent per vertex. We suggest an extension of MAPF in this paper that permits more than one agent per vertex. Propositional satisfiability (SAT) models for these extensions of MAPF are studied. We focus on modeling capacity constraints in SAT-based formulations of MAPF and evaluation of performance of these models. We extend two existing SAT-based formulations with vertex capacity constraints: MDD-SAT and SMT-CBS where the former is an approach that builds the model in an eager way while the latter relies on lazy construction of the model.

We address item relocation problems in graphs in this paper. We assume items placed in vertices of an undirected graph with at most one item per vertex. Items can be moved across edges while various constraints depending on the type of relocation problem must be satisfied. We introduce a general problem formulation that encompasses known types of item relocation problems such as multi-agent path finding (MAPF) and token swapping (TSWAP). In this formulation we express two new types of relocation problems derived from token swapping that we call token rotation (TROT) and token permutation (TPERM). Our solving approach for item relocation combines satisfiability modulo theory (SMT) with conflict-based search (CBS). We interpret CBS in the SMT framework where we start with the basic model and refine the model with a collision resolution constraint whenever a collision between items occurs in the current solution. The key difference between the standard CBS and our SMT-based modification of CBS (SMT-CBS) is that the standard CBS branches the search to resolve the collision while in SMT-CBS we iteratively add a single disjunctive collision resolution constraint. Experimental evaluation on several benchmarks shows that the SMT-CBS algorithm significantly outperforms the standard CBS. We also compared SMT-CBS with a modification of the SAT-based MDD-SAT solver that uses an eager modeling of item relocation in which all potential collisions are eliminated by constrains in advance. Experiments show that lazy approach in SMT-CBS produce fewer constraint than MDD-SAT and also achieves faster solving run-times.

We study practical approaches to solving the token swapping (TSWAP) problem optimally in this short paper. In TSWAP, we are given an undirected graph with colored vertices. A colored token is placed in each vertex. A pair of tokens can be swapped between adjacent vertices. The goal is to perform a sequence of swaps so that token and vertex colors agree across the graph. The minimum number of swaps is required in the optimization variant of the problem. We observed similarities between the TSWAP problem and multi-agent path finding (MAPF) where instead of tokens we have multiple agents that need to be moved from their current vertices to given unique target vertices. The difference between both problems consists in local conditions that state transitions (swaps/moves) must satisfy. We developed two algorithms for solving TSWAP optimally by adapting two different approaches to MAPF - CBS and MDD- SAT. This constitutes the first attempt to design optimal solving algorithms for TSWAP. Experimental evaluation on various types of graphs shows that the reduction to SAT scales better than CBS in optimal TSWAP solving.

In the multi-agent path finding problem (MAPF) we are given a set of agents each with respective start and goal positions. The task is to find paths for all agents while avoiding collisions aiming to minimize an objective function. Two such common objective functions is the sum-of-costs and the makespan. Many optimal solvers were introduced in the past decade - two prominent categories of solvers can be distinguished: search-based solvers and compilation-based solvers. Search-based solvers were developed and tested for the sum-of-costs objective while the most prominent compilation-based solvers that are built around Boolean satisfiability (SAT) were designed for the makespan objective. Very little was known on the performance and relevance of the compilation-based approach on the sum-of-costs objective. In this paper we show how to close the gap between these cost functions in the compilation-based approach. Moreover we study applicability of various techniques developed for search-based solvers in the compilation-based approach. A part of this paper introduces a SAT-solver that is directly aimed to solve the sum-of-costs objective function. Using both a lower bound on the sum-of-costs and an upper bound on the makespan, we are able to have a reasonable number of variables in our SAT encoding. We then further improve the encoding by borrowing ideas from ICTS, a search-based solver. Experimental evaluation on several domains show that there are many scenarios where our new SAT-based methods outperforms the best variants of previous sum-of-costs search solvers - the ICTS, CBS algorithms, and ICBS algorithms.