A Free Market Architecture for Distributed Control of a Multirobot System

M Bernardine Dias and Anthony (Tony) Stentz
6th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS-6), July, 2000, pp. 115-122.


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Abstract
The coordination of a large group of robots to solve a specified task is a difficult problem. Centralized approaches can be computationally intractable, brittle, and unresponsive to change. Distributed approaches are not as prone to these problems, but they can be highly sub-optimal. This work introduces a novel economic approach for coordinating robots based on the free market system. The free market approach defines revenue and cost functions across the possible plans for executing a specified task. The task is accomplished by dividing it into sub-tasks and allowing the robots to bid and negotiate to carry out these sub-tasks. Cooperation and competition emerge as the robots execute the task while trying to maximize their personal profits. Initial simulation results indicate the approach is successful at producing effective global plans for a team of several robots performing an interior sensing task.

Keywords
Multirobot Control, Free Market, Negotiation

Notes
Sponsor: DARPA and DRAIS
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Reliable Autonomous Systems Lab
Associated Project(s): Cognitive Colonies and Federation of Intelligent Robotic Explorers Project
Number of pages: 8

Text Reference
M Bernardine Dias and Anthony (Tony) Stentz, "A Free Market Architecture for Distributed Control of a Multirobot System," 6th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS-6), July, 2000, pp. 115-122.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Dias_2000_3383,
   author = "M Bernardine Dias and Anthony (Tony) Stentz",
   title = "A Free Market Architecture for Distributed Control of a Multirobot System",
   booktitle = "6th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS-6)",
   pages = "115-122",
   month = "July",
   year = "2000",
}