EECBS: A Bounded-Suboptimal Search for Multi-Agent Path Finding

10/03/2020
by   Jiaoyang Li, et al.
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Multi-Agent Path Finding (MAPF), i.e., finding collision-free paths for multiple robots, is important for many applications where small runtimes are important, including the kind of automated warehouses operated by Amazon. CBS is a leading two-level search algorithm for solving MAPF optimally. ECBS is a bounded-suboptimal variant of CBS that uses focal search to speed up CBS by sacrificing optimality and instead guaranteeing that the costs of its solution are within a given factor of optimal. In this paper, we study how to decrease its runtime even further using inadmissible heuristics. Motivated by Explicit Estimation Search (EES), we propose Explicit Estimation CBS (EECBS), a new bounded-suboptimal variant of CBS, that uses online learning to inadmissibly estimate the cost of the solution under each high-level node and uses EES to choose which high-level node to expand next. We also investigate recent improvements to CBS and adapt them to EECBS. We find that EECBS with the improvements runs significantly faster than the MAPF algorithms ECBS, BCP-7, and eMDD-SAT on a variety of MAPF instances. We hope that the scalability of EECBS enables wider adoption of MAPF formulations in practical applications.

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