Coordinating Competitive Agents in Dynamic Airport Resource Scheduling
In real-life multi-agent planning problems, long-term plans will often be invalidated by changes in the environment during or after the planning process. When this happens, short-term operational planning and scheduling methods have to be applied in order to deal with these changed situations. In addition to the dynamic environment, in such planning systems we also have to be aware of sometimes conflicting interests of different parties, which render a centralized approach undesirable. In this paper we investigate two agent-based scheduling architectures where stakeholders are modelled as autonomous agents. We discuss this approach in the context of an interesting airport planning problem: the planning and scheduling of deicing and anti-icing activities. To coordinate the competition between agents over scarce resources, we have developed two mechanisms: one mechanism based on decommitment penalties, and one based on a more traditional (Vickrey) auction. Experiments show that the auction-based mechanism best respects the preferences of the individual agents, whereas the decommitment mechanism ensures a fairer distribution of delay over the agents.
KeywordsSchedule Problem Coordination Mechanism Auction Mechanism Delay Cost Vickrey Auction
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