Multiagent Coordination in Tightly Coupled Real-Time Environments

Jyi-Shane Liu and Katia P. Sycara, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

We consider an environment where agents’ tasks are tightly coupled and require real-time scheduling and execution. In order to complete their tasks, agents need to coordinate their actions both constantly and extensively. We present an approach that consists of a standard operating procedure and a look-ahead coordination. The standard operating procedure regulates task coupling and minimizes communication. The look-ahead coordination increases agents’ global visibility and provides indicative information for decision adjustment. The goal of our approach is to prune decision myopia while maintaining system responsiveness in real-time, dynamic environments. Experimental results in job shop scheduling problems show that (1) the look-ahead coordination significantly enhances the performance of the standard operating procedure in solution quality, (2) the approach is capable of producing solutions of very high quality in a real-time environment.

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