On the Influence of Inter-Agent Variation on Multi-Agent Algorithms Solving a Dynamic Task Allocation Problem under Uncertainty

Gerrit Anders, Christian Hinrichs, Florian Siefert, Pascal Behrmann, Wolfgang Reif, and Michael Sonnenschein

Multi-agent systems often consist of heterogeneous agents with different capabilities and objectives. While some agents might try to maximize their system's utility, others might be self-interested and thus only act for their own good. However, because of their limited capabilities and resources, it is often necessary that agents cooperate to be able to satisfy given tasks. To work together on such a task, the agents have to solve a task allocation problem, e.g., by teaming up in groups like coalitions or distributing the task among themselves on electronic markets. In this paper, we introduce two algorithms that allow agents to cooperatively solve a dynamic task allocation problem in uncertain environments. Based on these algorithms, we investigate the influence of inter-agent variation on the system's behavior. One of these algorithms explicitly exploits inter-agent variation to solve the task without communication between the agents, while the other builds upon a fixed overlay network in which agents exchange information. Throughout the paper, the frequency stabilization problem from the domain of decentralized power management serves as a running example to illustrate our algorithms and results.
published 10.09.2012 Proceedings of the 2012 Sixth IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems (SASO)

Publisher: IEEE



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