Distributed Scheduling of Multiagent Communication

Y. Xiang

We consider a homogeneous cooperative multiagent system organized as a multiply sectioned Bayesian network (MSBN). Earlier work has shown that (1) multiagent MSBNs can be applied to distributed interpretation tasks; and (2) a distributed communication operation can be used to ensure the global consistency among agents. In this paper, we address the following problem: During a communication operation, each agent is unavailable to process new evidence for a time interval (called off-line time). We consider the minimization of the total length of off-line time of the entire system. To concentrate on the factors affecting the off-line time, we abstract communication in MSBNs into a graphical model for off-line time study. Using the model, we present the optimal schedules when communication is initiated from an arbitrarily selected agent. We show how the optimal schedules can be constructed in a distributed fashion.

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