Robust Execution-time Coordination in DEC-POMDPs Under Model Uncertainty


Jun-young Kwak, Rong Yang, Zhengyu Yin, Matthew E. Taylor, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Robust Execution-time Coordination in DEC-POMDPs Under Model Uncertainty.” In Workshop on Multiagent Sequential Decision Making in Uncertain Domains(MSDM) at AAMAS 2011 .


Despite their worst-case NEXP-complete planning complexity, DEC-POMDPs remain a popular framework for multiagent teamwork. This paper introduces effective teamwork under model uncertainty (i.e., potentially inaccurate transition and observation functions) as a novel challenge for DEC-POMDPs and presents MODERN, the first execution-centric framework for DEC-POMDPs explicitly motivated by addressing such model uncertainty. MODERN’s shift of coordination reasoning from planning-time to execution-time avoids the high cost of computing optimal plans whose promised quality may not be realized in practice. There are three key ideas in MODERN: (i) it maintains an exponentially smaller model of other agents’ beliefs and actions than in previous work and then further reduces the computationtime and space expense of this model via bounded pruning; (ii) it reduces execution-time computation by exploiting BDI theories of teamwork, and limits communication to key trigger points; and (iii) it limits its decision-theoretic reasoning about communication to trigger points and uses a systematic markup to encourage extra communication at these points – thus reducing uncertainty among team members at trigger points. We empirically show that MODERN is substantially faster than existing DEC-POMDP executioncentric methods while achieving significantly higher reward.
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