Planning and Execution in Multi-Agent Path Finding: Models and Algorithms

Published: 12 Feb 2024, Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024ICAPS 2024EveryoneRevisionsBibTeXCC BY 4.0
Keywords: Multi-Agent Path Finding, MAPF, Lifelong Multi-Agent Path Finding, Lifelong MAPF, Lifelong, MAPF-LNS, Realtime MAPF
Abstract: In applications of Multi-Agent Path Finding (MAPF), it is often the sum of planning and execution times that needs to be minimised (i.e., the em Goal Achievement Time). Yet current methods seldom optimise for this objective. Optimal algorithms reduce execution time, but may require exponential planning time. Non-optimal algorithms reduce planning time, but at the expense of increased path length. To address these limitations we introduce PIE (Planning and Improving while Executing), a new framework for concurrent planning and execution in MAPF. We show how different instantiations of PIE affect practical performance, including initial planning time, action commitment time and concurrent vs. sequential planning and execution. We then adapt PIE to Lifelong MAPF, a popular application setting where agents are continuously assigned new goals and where additional decisions are required to ensure feasibility. We examine a variety of different approaches to overcome these challenges and we conduct comparative experiments vs. recently proposed alternatives. Results show that PIE substantially outperforms existing methods for One-shot and Lifelong MAPF.
Primary Keywords: Multi-Agent Planning
Category: Long
Student: Graduate
Supplemtary Material: zip
Submission Number: 168