The Power of Sequential Single-Item Auctions for Agent Coordination

Sven Koenig, C. Tovey, M. Lagoudakis, V. Markakis, D. Kempe, P. Keskinocak, A. Kleywegt, A. Meyerson, S. Jain

Teams of robots are more fault tolerant than single robots, and auctions appear to be promising means for coordinating them. In a recent paper at "Robotics: Science and Systems 2005," we analyzed a coordination system based on sequential single-item auctions. We showed that the coordination system is simple to implement and computation and communication efficient, and that the resulting sum of all travel distances in known terrain is guaranteed to be only a constant factor away from optimum. In this paper, we put these results in perspective by comparing our coordination system against those based on either parallel single-item auctions or combinatorial auctions, demonstrating that it combines the advantages of both.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 9.3 Mathematical Foundations

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