Reconfiguration of Multi-Agent Planning Systems

Diane J. Cook

Many multi-agent planning systems can perform more effectively than single-agent systems due to redundancy, concurrency, and heterogeneous capabilities. However, lack of an effective coordination mechanism can diminish the advantages of using multiple agents. Researchers have suggested a variety of coordination configurations, such as centralized planning, distributed planning, and local planning. While each configuration offers some advantages, no single planning configuration is optimal for all planning scenarios. In this paper, I identify the need for reconfiguration in multi-agent planning systems. Instead of selecting just one planning configuration, I design a system that can make use of a number of planning modes. In order to determine the best configuration for a given problem, a decision-theoretic model is designed. This models selects the configuration that will maximize the expected payoff for the system. Reconflguration of the multi-agent system can be initiated by a single or by multiple agents, and can occur between plans or during plan execution.

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