Distributed Algorithm Design for Constrained Multi-robot Task Assignment

Lingzhi Luo
The task assignment problem is one of the fundamental combinatorial optimization problems. It has been extensively studied in operation research, management science, computer science and robotics. Task assignment problems arise in various applications of multi-robot systems (MRS), such as environmental monitoring, disaster response, extraterrestrial exploration, sensing data collection and collaborative autonomous manufacturing. In these MRS applications, there are realistic constraints on
more » ... s and tasks that must be taken into account both from the modeling perspective and the algorithmic perspective. From the modeling aspect, such constraints include (a) Task group constraints: where tasks form disjoint groups and each robot can be assigned to at most one task in each group. One example of the group constraints comes from tightly-coupled tasks, where multiple micro tasks form one tightly-coupled macro task and need multiple robots to perform each simultaneously. (b) Task deadline constraints: where tasks must be assigned to meet their deadlines. (c) Dynamically-arising tasks: where tasks arrive dynamically and the payoffs of future tasks are unknown. Such tasks arise in scenarios like searchrescue, where new victims are found dynamically. (d) Robot budget constraints: where the number of tasks each robot can perform is bounded according to the resource it possesses (e.g., energy). From the solution aspect, there is often a need for decentralized solution that are implemented on individual robots, especially when no powerful centralized controller exists or when the system needs to avoid single-point failure or be adaptive to environmental changes. Most existing algorithms either do not consider the above constraints in problem modeling, are centralized or do not provide formal performance guarantees. In this thesis, I propose methods to address these issues for two classes of problems, namely, the constrained linear assignment problem and constrained generalized assignment problem. Constrained linear assignme [...]
doi:10.1184/r1/6715982.v1 fatcat:q6fyqx2765d6rca4h2xwk3uovq