MS*: A New Exact Algorithm for Multi-agent Simultaneous Multi-goal Sequencing and Path Finding

03/18/2021
by   Zhongqiang Ren, et al.
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In multi-agent applications such as surveillance and logistics, fleets of mobile agents are often expected to coordinate and safely visit a large number of goal locations as efficiently as possible. The multi-agent planning problem in these applications involves allocating and sequencing goals for each agent while simultaneously producing conflict-free paths for the agents. In this article, we introduce a new algorithm called MS* which computes an optimal solution for this multi-agent problem by fusing and advancing state of the art solvers for multi-agent path finding (MAPF) and multiple travelling salesman problem (mTSP). MS* leverages our prior subdimensional expansion approach for MAPF and embeds the mTSP solvers to optimally allocate and sequence goals for agents. Numerical results show that our new algorithm can solve the multi-agent problem with 20 agents and 50 goals in a minute of CPU time on a standard laptop.

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