Keywords: Multi-agent assignment planning, Reinforcement learning, Graph neural network, Mean-field inference
TL;DR: Multi-agent sequential assignment learning with time-dependent rewards was addressed by combining Reinforcement learning theory, GNN theory and Auction theory.
Abstract: This paper explores the possibility of near-optimally solving multi-agent, multi-task NP-hard planning problems with time-dependent rewards using a learning-based algorithm. In particular, we consider a class of robot/machine scheduling problems called the multi-robot reward collection problem (MRRC). Such MRRC problems well model ride-sharing, pickup-and-delivery, and a variety of related problems. In representing the MRRC problem as a sequential decision-making problem, we observe that each state can be represented as an extension of probabilistic graphical models (PGMs), which we refer to as random PGMs. We then develop a mean-field inference method for random PGMs. We then propose (1) an order-transferable Q-function estimator and (2) an order-transferability-enabled auction to select a joint assignment in polynomial-time. These result in a reinforcement learning framework with at least $1-1/e$ optimality. Experimental results on solving MRRC problems highlight the near-optimality and transferability of the proposed methods. We also consider identical parallel machine scheduling problems (IPMS) and minimax multiple traveling salesman problems (minimax-mTSP).
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