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Proceedings Paper

A Bayesian formulation for auction-based task allocation in heterogeneous multi-agent teams
Author(s): Charles E. Pippin; Henrik Christensen
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Paper Abstract

In distributed, heterogeneous, multi-agent teams, agents may have different capabilities and types of sensors. Agents in dynamic environments will need to cooperate in real-time to perform tasks with minimal costs. Some example scenarios include dynamic allocation of UAV and UGV robot teams to possible hurricane survivor locations, search and rescue and target detection. Auction based algorithms scale well because agents generally only need to communicate bid information. In addition, the agents are able to perform their computations in parallel and can operate on local information. Furthermore, it is easy to integrate humans and other vehicle types and sensor combinations into an auction framework. However, standard auction mechanisms do not explicitly consider sensors with varying reliability. The agents sensor qualities should be explicitly accounted. Consider a scenario with multiple agents, each carrying a single sensor. The tasks in this case are to simply visit a location and detect a target. The sensors are of varying quality, with some having a higher probability of target detection. The agents themselves may have different capabilities, as well. The agents use knowledge of their environment to submit cost-based bids for performing each task and an auction is used to perform the task allocation. This paper discusses techniques for including a Bayesian formulation of target detection likelihood into this auction based framework for performing task allocation across multi-agent heterogeneous teams. Analysis and results of experiments with multiple air systems performing distributed target detection are also included.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8047, Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR II, 804710 (23 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883657
Show Author Affiliations
Charles E. Pippin, Georgia Tech Research Institute (United States)
Henrik Christensen, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8047:
Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR II
Michael A. Kolodny; Tien Pham; Kevin L. Priddy, Editor(s)

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