Generalized Reaction Functions for Solving Complex-Task Allocation Problems
Xiaoming Zheng and Sven Koenig
We study distributed task-allocation problems where cooperative agents need to perform some tasks simultaneously. Examples are multi-agent routing problems where several agents need to visit some targets simultaneously, for example, to move obstacles out of the way cooperatively. In this paper, we first generalize the concept of reaction functions proposed in the literature to characterize the agent costs of performing multiple complex tasks. Second, we show how agents can construct and approximate reaction functions in a distributed way. Third, we show how reaction functions can be used by an auction-like algorithm to allocate tasks to agents. Finally, we show empirically that the team costs of our algorithms are substantially smaller than those of an existing state-of-the-art allocation algorithm for complex tasks.