Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 423–437 | Cite as

Partially-Decoupled Service Agent - Transport Agent Task Allocation and Scheduling

  • Matthew J. BaysEmail author
  • Thomas A. Wettergren


We present an approach to performing efficient schedule generation of a heterogeneous team of autonomous agents in a service agent - transport agent scenario where the task allocation and scheduling components are partially-decoupled. In the scenario, service agents must perform tasks at a number of locations. The agents are free to move between locations, however the agents may also be transported throughout the region by a limited number of faster-moving transport agents. The goal of the problem is to plan a schedule of service agent and transport agent actions such that all locations are serviced in the shortest amount of time. While in previous work we formulated the problem as a holistic mixed-integer linear program, we present a novel method to solve the problem in a hierarchical and partially-decoupled manner for faster optimization and to require less information to be processed and communicated in a centralized manner to perform the schedule planning. The original solution method required up to 20 minutes to obtain an efficient solution. The new methodology, using hierarchical task allocation and a bidding-based scheduling algorithm, can create an efficient solution in seconds.


Multi-agent systems Scheduling Optimization Task allocation Mixed-integer linear programming 


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This work was funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Independent Applied Research program and ONR Code 32.


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© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naval Surface Warfare CenterPanama City DivisionPanama CityUSA
  2. 2.Naval Undersea Warfare CenterNewport DivisionNewportUSA

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