Flood Disaster Mitigation: A Real-world Challenge Problem for Multi-Agent Unmanned Surface Vehicles

Paul Scerri, Balajee Kannan, Prasanna Velagapudi, Kate Macarthur, Peter Stone, Matthew Taylor, John M. Dolan, Alessandro Farinelli, Archie Chapman, M Bernardine Dias, and George A. Kantor
Proceedings of the Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems workshop (ARMS-11, at AAMAS-11), May, 2011.


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Abstract
As we advance the state of technology for robotic systems, there is a need for defining complex real-world challenge problems for the multi-agent/robot community to address. A well-dfined challenge problem can motivate researchers to aggressively address and overcomecore domain challenges that might otherwise take years to solve. As the focus of multi-agent research shifts from the mature domains of UGV and UAVs to USVs, there is a need for outlining well-defined and realistic challenge problems. In this position paper, we define one such problem, food disaster mitigation. The ability to respond quickly and effectively to disasters is essential to saving lives and limiting the scope of damage. The nature of floods dictates the need for a fleet of low-cost and small autonomous boats that can provide situational awareness (SA), damage assessment and deliver supplies before more traditional emergency response assets can access an affected area. In addition to addressing an essential need, the outlined application provides an interesting challenge problem for advancing fundamental research in multi-agent systems (MAS) specific to the USV domain. In this paper, we define a technical statement of this MAS challenge problem and outline MAS-specific technical constraints based on the associated real-world constraints. Core MAS sub-problems that must be solved for this application include coordination, control, human interaction, autonomy, task allocation, and communication. This problem provides a concrete and real-world MAS application that will bring together researchers with a diverse range of expertise to develop and implement the necessary algorithms and mechanisms.

Keywords
multi-agent systems, autonomous surface vehicles, flood mitigation, disaster relief

Notes

Text Reference
Paul Scerri, Balajee Kannan, Prasanna Velagapudi, Kate Macarthur, Peter Stone, Matthew Taylor, John M. Dolan, Alessandro Farinelli, Archie Chapman, M Bernardine Dias, and George A. Kantor, "Flood Disaster Mitigation: A Real-world Challenge Problem for Multi-Agent Unmanned Surface Vehicles," Proceedings of the Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems workshop (ARMS-11, at AAMAS-11), May, 2011.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Scerri_2011_6930,
   author = "Paul Scerri and Balajee Kannan and Prasanna Velagapudi and Kate Macarthur and Peter Stone and Matthew Taylor and John M Dolan and Alessandro Farinelli and Archie Chapman and M Bernardine Dias and George A Kantor",
   title = "Flood Disaster Mitigation: A Real-world Challenge Problem for Multi-Agent Unmanned Surface Vehicles",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems workshop (ARMS-11, at AAMAS-11)",
   month = "May",
   year = "2011",
}