A Factored Approach to Deterministic Contingent Multi-Agent Planning

  • Shashank Shekhar Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Ronen I. Brafman Ben-Gurion University
  • Guy Shani Ben-Gurion University

Abstract

Collaborative Multi-Agent Planning (MAP) under uncertainty with partial observability is a notoriously difficult problem. Such MAP problems are often modeled as DecPOMDPs, or its qualitative variant, QDec-POMDP, which is essentially a MAP version of contingent planning. The QDecPOMDP model was introduced with the hope that its simpler, non-probabilistic structure will allow for better scalability. Indeed, at least with deterministic actions, the recent IMAP algorithm scales much better than comparable DecPOMDP algorithms (Bazinin and Shani 2018). In this work we suggest a new approach to solving Deterministic QDecPOMDPs based on problem factoring. First, we find a solution to a MAP problem where the results of any observation is available to all agents. This is essentially a single-agent planning problem for the entire team. Then, we project the solution tree into sub-trees, one per agent, and let each agent transform its projected tree into a legal local tree. If all agents succeed, we combine the trees into a valid joint-plan. Otherwise, we continue to explore the space of team solutions. This approach is sound, complete, and as our empirical evaluation demonstrates, scales much better than the IMAP algorithm.

Published
2019-07-06