Overlapping Coalition Formation for Efficient Data Fusion in Multi-Sensor Networks

Dung V. Dang, Rajdeep K. Dash, Alex Rogers, Nicholas R. Jennings

This paper develops new algorithms for coalition formation within multi-sensor networks tasked with performing wide-area surveillance. Specifically, we cast this application as an instance of coalition formation, with overlapping coalitions. We show that within this application area sub-additive coalition valuations are typical, and we thus use this structural property of the problem to derive two novel algorithms (an approximate greedy one that operates in polynomial time and has a calculated bound to the optimum, and an optimal branch-and-bound one) to find the optimal coalition structure in this instance. We empirically evaluate the performance of these algorithms within a generic model of a multi-sensor network performing wide area surveillance. These results show that the polynomial algorithm typically generated solutions much closer to the optimal than the theoretical bound, and prove the effectiveness of our pruning procedure.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 7.2 Software Agents

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