Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 84, Issue 1–4, pp 241–258 | Cite as

Rolling Horizon Path Planning of an Autonomous System of UAVs for Persistent Cooperative Service: MILP Formulation and Efficient Heuristics

  • Byung Duk Song
  • Jonghoe Kim
  • James R. MorrisonEmail author


A networked system consisting of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), automated logistic service stations (LSSs), customer interface software, system orchestration algorithms and UAV control software can be exploited to provide persistent service to its customers. With efficient algorithms for UAV task planning, the UAVs can autonomously serve the customers in real time. Nearly uninterrupted customer service may be accomplished via the cooperative hand-off of customer tasks from weary UAVs to ones that have recently been replenished at an LSS. With the goal of enabling the autonomy of the task planning tasks, we develop a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation for the problem of providing simultaneous. UAV escort service to multiple customers across a field of operations with multiple sharable LSSs. This MILP model provides a formal representation of our problem and enables use in a rolling horizon planner via allowance of arbitrary UAV initial locations and consumable reservoir status (e.g., battery level). As such, it enables automation of the orchestration of system activities. To address computational complexity, we develop efficient heuristics to rapidly derive near optimal solutions. A receding horizon task assignment (RHTA) heuristic and sequential task assignment heuristic (STAH) are developed. STAH exploits properties observed in optimal solutions obtained for small problems via CPLEX. Numerical studies suggest that RHTA and STAH are 45 and 2100 times faster than solving the MILP via CPLEX, respectively. Both heuristics perform well relative to the optimal solution obtained via CPLEX. An example demonstrating the use of the approach for rolling horizon planning is provided.


Persistent UAV service Cooperative UAV service UAV task planning Mixed integer linear programming Heuristic 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byung Duk Song
    • 1
  • Jonghoe Kim
    • 1
  • James R. Morrison
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringKAISTDaejeonSouth Korea

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