Cooperative Mission Planning for Multi-UAV Teams

  • Sameera S. Ponda
  • Luke B. Johnson
  • Alborz Geramifard
  • Jonathan P. How
Reference work entry


The use of robotic agents, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), has motivated the development of numerous autonomous cooperative task allocation and planning methods for heterogeneous networked teams. Typically agents within the team have different roles and responsibilities, and ensuring proper coordination between them is critical for efficient mission execution. However, as the number of agents, system components, and mission tasks increase, planning for such teams becomes increasingly complex, motivating the development of algorithms that can operate in real-time dynamic environments.

Given the complexity of the cooperative missions considered, there have been numerous solution approaches developed in recent years. This chapter provides an overview of three of the most common planning frameworks: integer programming, Markov decision processes, and game theory. The chapter also considers various architectural decisions that must be addressed when implementing online planning systems for multi-agent teams, providing insights on when centralized, distributed, and decentralized architectures might be good choices for a given application, and how to organize the communication and computation to achieve desired mission performance. Algorithms that can be utilized within the various architectures are identified and discussed, and future directions for research are suggested.


Markov Decision Process Situational Awareness Task Allocation Reward Function Negotiation Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by the AFOSR and USAF under grant (FA9550-08-1-0086) and MURI (FA9550-08-1-0356). The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research or the U.S. government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aeronautics and AstronauticsAerospace Controls Laboratory Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Aeronautics and AstronauticsAerospace Controls LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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