Common wisdom says that the greater the level of teamwork, the
higher the performance of the team. In teams of cooperative autonomous agents,
working together rather than independently can increase the team reward. However, recent results show that in uncertain environments, increasing the level of
teamwork can actually decrease overall performance. Coined the team uncertainty penalty, this phenomenon has been shown empirically in simulation, but
the underlying mathematics are not yet understood. By understanding the mathematics, we could develop algorithms that reduce or eliminate this penalty of
In this paper we investigate the team uncertainty penalty on two fronts. First, we
provide results of robots exhibiting the same behavior seen in simulations. Second, we present a mathematical foundation by which to analyze the phenomenon.
Using this model, we present findings indicating that the team uncertainty penalty
is inherent to the level of teamwork allowed, rather than to specific algorithms.