Lifelong Multi-Agent Path Finding in Large-Scale Warehouses

05/15/2020
by   Jiaoyang Li, et al.
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Multi-Agent Path Finding (MAPF) is the problem of moving a team of agents to their goal locations without collisions. In this paper, we study the lifelong variant of MAPF where agents are constantly engaged with new goal locations, such as in large-scale warehouses. We propose a new framework for solving lifelong MAPF by decomposing the problem into a sequence of Windowed MAPF instances, where a Windowed MAPF solver resolves collisions among the paths of the agents only within a finite time horizon and ignores collisions beyond it. Our framework is particularly well suited to generating pliable plans that adapt to continually arriving new goal locations. Theoretically, we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of our framework. Empirically, we evaluate our framework with a variety of MAPF solvers and show that it can produce high-quality solutions for up to 1,000 agents, significantly outperforming existing methods.

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