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Efficient and Complete Centralized Multi-Robot Path Planning

Last modified: 2011-07-05

#### Abstract

Multi-robot path planning is abstracted as the problem of computing a set of non-colliding paths on a graph for multiple robots. A naive search of the composite search space, although complete, has exponential complexity and becomes computationally prohibitive for problems with just a few robots. This work proposes an efficient and complete algorithm for solving a general class of multi-robot path planning problems, specifically those where there are at most n-2 robots in a connected graph of n vertices. The algorithm employs two primitives: a "push" operation where a robot moves toward its goal until no further progress can be made, and a "swap" operation that allows two robots to swap positions without altering the configuration of any other robot. Simulated experiments compare the proposed approach with several other centralized and decoupled planners, and show that the proposed technique has highly competitive computation time and easily scales to problems involving 100s of robots, solving them in under 5 seconds.

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