A prototype infrastructure for distributed robot, agent, person teams


Paul Scerri, Johnson L., D. V. Pynadath, P. S. Rosenbloom, M. Si, Nathan Schurr, and Milind Tambe. 2003. “A prototype infrastructure for distributed robot, agent, person teams .” In Second International Joint conference on agents and multiagent systems (AAMAS).


Effective coordination of robots, agents and people promises to improve the safety, robustness and quality with which shared goals are achieved by harnessing the highly heterogeneous entities’ diverse capabilities. Proxy-based integration architectures are emerging as a standard method for coordinating teams of heterogeneous entities. Such architectures are designed to meet imposing challenges such as ensuring that the diverse capabilities of the group members are effectively utilized, avoiding miscoordination in a noisy, uncertain environment and reacting flexibly to changes in the environment. However, we contend that previous architectures have gone too far in taking coordination responsibility away from entities and giving it to proxies. Our goal is to create a proxy-based integration infrastructure where there is a beneficial symbiotic relationship between the proxies and the team members. By leveraging the coordination abilities of both proxies and socially capable team members the quality of the coordination can be improved. We present two key new ideas to achieve this goal. First, coordination tasks are represented as explicit roles, hence the responsibilities not the actions are specified, thus allowing the team to leverage the coordination skills of the most capable team members. Second, building on the first idea, we have developed a novel role allocation and reallocation algorithm. These ideas have been realized in a prototype software proxy architecture and used to create heterogeneous teams for an urban disaster recovery domain. Using the rescue domain as a testbed, we have experimented with the role allocation algorithm and observed results to support the hypothesis that leveraging the coordination capabilities of people can help the performance of the team.
See also: 2003