Technical Report MSC-2022-30

Title: Leveraging Experience in Lifelong Multi-Agent Pathfinding
Authors: Nitzan Madar
Supervisors: Oren Salzman
PDFCurrently accessibly only within the Technion network
Abstract: In Lifelong Multi-Agent Path Finding (L-MAPF), a team of agents performs a stream of tasks consisting of multiple locations to be visited by the agents on a shared graph while avoiding collisions with one another. L-MAPF is typically tackled by partitioning it into multiple consecutive, and hence similar, "one-shot" MAPF queries, as in the Rolling-Horizon Collision Resolution (RHCR) algorithm. Therefore, a solution to one query informs the next query, which leads to similarity with respect to the agents' start and goal positions, and how collisions need to be resolved from one query to the next. Thus, experience from solving one MAPF query can potentially be used to speedup solving the next one. Despite this intuition, current L-MAPF planners solve consecutive MAPF queries from scratch. This thesis introduces a new RHCR-inspired approach called exRHCR, which exploits experience in its constituent MAPF queries. In particular, exRHCR employs an extension of Priority-Based Search (PBS), a state-of-the-art MAPF solver. The extension, which we call exPBS, allows to warm-start the search with the priorities between agents used by PBS in the previous MAPF instances. We demonstrate empirically that exRHCR solves L-MAPF instances up to 39% faster than RHCR, and has the potential to increase system throughput for given task streams by increasing the number of agents a planner can cope with for a given time budget.

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