/Distributed Coordination of Resources

Distributed Coordination of Resources

Portrait of Distributed Coordination of Resources
Head: Stephen Smith
Contact: Stephen Smith
Associated Lab: Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory
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Last Project Publication Year: 2002

In many domains, there is a need for computational frameworks and mechanisms that support dynamic coordination of multiple agents toward achievement of specific global objectives over time. Quite often, the problem at hand centers on allocation of the resources that each agent has at its disposal. For example, different manufacturers along a supply chain have different production capacities and constraints which must be synchronized over time; various commands in a military operation must coordinate and time share the use of their assets; execution of common business processes requires staged participation of personnel in various organizational units.

To better understand and address such multi-agent coordination problems, we are investigating the following issues: (1) Coordination protocols and policies, (2) Use of projection and look-ahead, and (3) Adaptive decision policies.

Our current research in this direction has been focusing on the development of self-scheduling systems that draw on various aspects of a computational model of the self-organizing behavior of wasp colonies. More specifically, we have been developing the following such self-scheduling systems and algorithms:


  1. The first of these systems utilizes wasp-like agents, which we call “routing wasps”, that use adaptive decision policies for the assignment of jobs to multi-purpose machines faced with sequence-dependent setup constraints. This system exhibits superior performance to a “real-world proven” multi-agent system for vehicle paintshop scheduling problems.
  2. We are also developing a stochastic search framework based on the self-organization of dominance hierarchies among wasps in nature. This framework, which we call Wasp beHavior-Inspired STochastic sampLING (WHISTLING), provides a general approach to heuristic-guided stochastic search that utilizes the full potential of the discriminating power of the heuristic for the problem at hand. Underlying WHISTLING is a population of what we call “scheduling wasps” that interact to prioritize the queue of jobs and to search a stochastic neighborhood of the scheduling heuristic.

Displaying 9 Publications
Amplification of Search Performance through Randomization of Heuristics
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Conference Paper, Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming: 8th International Conference, Proceedings, Vol. LNCS 2470 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 124-138, September, 2002
Distributed Coordination of Resources via Wasp-like Agents
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Workshop Paper, First NASA GSFC/JPL Workshop on Radical Agent Concepts (WRAC), January, 2002
Wasp-like Agents for Distributed Factory Coordination
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-01-39, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, December, 2001
Randomizing Dispatch Scheduling Policies
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Conference Paper, The 2001 AAAI Fall Symposium: Using Uncertainty Within Computation, November, 2001
A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Multi-Agent Systems for Shop Floor Routing
Vincent Cicirello

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-01-28, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, September, 2001
Improved Routing Wasps for Distributed Factory Control
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Workshop Paper, The IJCAI-01 Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Manufacturing: New AI Paradigms for Manufacturing, August, 2001
Insect Societies and Manufacturing
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Workshop Paper, The IJCAI-01 Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Manufacturing: New AI Paradigms for Manufacturing, August, 2001
Wasp Nests for Self-Configurable Factories
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Conference Paper, Agents '01, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Autonomous Agents, May, 2001
Ant Colony Control for Autonomous Decentralized Shop Floor Routing
Vincent Cicirello and Stephen Smith

Conference Paper, ISADS-2001: Fifth International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems, pp. 383 - 390, March, 2001

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