multirobot-auction - Robust Multirobot Coordination in...

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Robust Multirobot Coordination in Dynamic Environments M. Bernardine Dias, Marc Zinck, Robert Zlot, and Anthony (Tony) Stentz The Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, USA {mbdias, mbz, robz, axs} Abstract — Robustness is crucial for any robot team, especially when operating in dynamic environments. The physicality of robotic systems and their interactions with the environment make them highly prone to malfunctions of many kinds. Three principal categories in the possible space of robot malfunctions are communication failures, partial failure of robot resources necessary for task execution (or partial robot malfunction), and complete robot failure (or robot death). This paper addresses these three categories and explores means by which the TraderBots approach ensures robustness and promotes graceful degradation in team performance when faced with malfunctions. Keywords-multirobot coordination; robustness; dynamic environments; communication failures; partial malfunctions; robot death; market-based. I. INTRODUCTION Many multirobot applications demand some level of robustness to malfunctions. The requirement for robustness becomes increasingly important when the application domain requires the robots to interact within a highly dynamic environment, and where prior information about the environment is sparse. Applications such as urban reconnaissance, urban search and rescue, planetary exploration, and hazardous cleanup inherently include hazardous conditions that will cause robotic malfunctions with high probability. Key to the success of these applications is the team’s ability to gracefully degrade their performance and maximize the efficiency with which the available resources are used to complete the task. Multirobot coordination approaches deal with malfunctions in different ways. The three main categories of malfunctions, and multirobot coordination approaches that account for these malfunctions are explored next. A. Communication Failures Communication failures are abundant in many application domains. These failures can vary from occasional loss of messages to complete loss of communication. Different approaches handle losses in communication using a variety of strategies. As described by Balch and Arkin [1], some approaches forego communication altogether and robots make action decisions entirely independent of decisions made by teammates. Other approaches forego explicit communication, but instead, coordinate team actions by basing action selection on observed environmental clues [1], anticipated actions of teammates [13], socially attentive monitoring of teammates [7], or pre-defined rules, triggered by environmental cues or observation of specific team formations or actions [11]. None of these coordination approaches are affected by failures in communication. However, they are also unable to effectively use information that can improve team performance if shared with teammates. Vail and Veloso [13] show that teams can
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This note was uploaded on 08/25/2011 for the course EGN 3060c taught by Professor Sukthankar,g during the Fall '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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multirobot-auction - Robust Multirobot Coordination in...

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