Distributed assignment with limited communication for multi-robot multi-target tracking

  • Yoonchang SungEmail author
  • Ashish Kumar Budhiraja
  • Ryan K. Williams
  • Pratap Tokekar
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue on Robot Communication Challenges: Real-World Problems, Systems, and Methods


We study the problem of tracking multiple moving targets using a team of mobile robots. Each robot has a set of motion primitives to choose from in order to collectively maximize the number of targets tracked or the total quality of tracking. Our focus is on scenarios where communication is limited and the robots have limited time to share information with their neighbors. As a result, we seek distributed algorithms that can find solutions in a bounded amount of time. We present two algorithms: (1) a greedy algorithm that is guaranteed to find a 2-approximation to the optimal (centralized) solution but requiring |R| communication rounds in the worst case, where |R| denotes the number of robots, and (2) a local algorithm that finds a \(\mathcal {O}\left( (1+\epsilon )(1+1/h)\right) \)—approximation algorithm in \(\mathcal {O}(h\log 1/\epsilon )\) communication rounds. Here, h and \(\epsilon \) are parameters that allow the user to trade-off the solution quality with communication time. In addition to theoretical results, we present empirical evaluation including comparisons with centralized optimal solutions.


Multi-robot system Task assignment Distributed algorithm 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Jukka Suomela from Aalto University for fruitful discussion.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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