Fast Distributed Multi-agent Plan Execution with Dynamic Task Assignment and Scheduling

TitleFast Distributed Multi-agent Plan Execution with Dynamic Task Assignment and Scheduling
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2009
AuthorsShah, J. A., P. Conrad, and B. Williams
Conference NameProceedings of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) (34% acceptance rate)
Date Published09/2009
Conference LocationThessaloniki, Greece

An essential quality of a good partner is her responsiveness to other team members. Recent work in dynamic plan execution exhibits elements of this quality through the ability to adapt to the temporal uncertainties of others agents and the environment. However, a good teammate also has the ability to adapt on-the-fly through task assignment. We generalize the framework of dynamic execution to perform plan execution with dynamic task assignment as well as scheduling.

This paper introduces Chaski, a multi-agent executive for scheduling temporal plans with online task assignment. Chaski enables an agent to dynamically update its plan in response to disturbances in task assignment and the schedule of other agents. The agent then uses the updated plan to choose, schedule and execute actions that are guaranteed to be temporally consistent and logically valid within the multi-agent plan. Chaski is made efficient through an incremental algorithm that compactly encodes all scheduling policies for all possible task assignments. We apply Chaski to perform multi-manipulator coordination using two Barrett Arms within the authors' hardware testbed. We empirically demonstrate up to one order of magnitude improvements in execution latency and solution compactness compared to prior art.