Computer Science - Multiagent Systems Publications (50)


Computer Science - Multiagent Systems Publications

An event-based state estimation approach for reducing communication in a networked control system is proposed. Multiple distributed sensor agents observe a dynamic process and sporadically transmit their measurements to estimator agents over a shared bus network. Local event-triggering protocols ensure that data is transmitted only when necessary to meet a desired estimation accuracy. Read More

Motivated by economic dispatch and linearly-constrained resource allocation problems, this paper proposes a novel Distributed Approx-Newton algorithm that approximates the standard Newton optimization method. A main property of this distributed algorithm is that it only requires agents to exchange constant-size communication messages. The convergence of this algorithm is discussed and rigorously analyzed. Read More

We consider the problem of controlling the spatiotemporal probability distribution of a robotic swarm that evolves according to a reflected diffusion process, using the space- and time-dependent drift vector field parameter as the control variable. In contrast to previous work on control of the Fokker-Planck equation, a zero-flux boundary condition is imposed on the partial differential equation that governs the swarm probability distribution, and only bounded vector fields are considered to be admissible as control parameters. Under these constraints, we show that any initial probability distribution can be transported to a target probability distribution under certain assumptions on the regularity of the target distribution. Read More

In this paper, we focus on applications in machine learning, optimization, and control that call for the resilient selection of a few elements, e.g. features, sensors, or leaders, against a number of adversarial denial-of-service attacks or failures. Read More

Recently the dynamics of signed networks, where the ties among the agents can be both positive (attractive) or negative (repulsive) have attracted substantial attention of the research community. Examples of such networks are models of opinion dynamics over signed graphs, recently introduced by Altafini (2012,2013) and extended to discrete-time case by Meng et al. (2014). Read More

In this paper we consider the problem of identifying intersections between two sets of d-dimensional axis-parallel rectangles. This is a common problem that arises in many agent-based simulation studies, and is of central importance in the context of High Level Architecture (HLA), where it is at the core of the Data Distribution Management (DDM) service. Several realizations of the DDM service have been proposed; however, many of them are either inefficient or inherently sequential. Read More

This paper focuses on a passivity-based distributed reference governor (RG) applied to a pre-stabilized mobile robotic network. The novelty of this paper lies in the method used to solve the RG problem, where a passivity-based distributed optimization scheme is proposed. In particular, the gradient descent method minimizes the global objective function while the dual ascent method maximizes the Hamiltonian. Read More

This paper presents a novel approach for localising a GPS (Global Positioning System)-denied Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with the aid of a GPS-equipped UAV in three-dimensional space. The GPS-equipped UAV makes discrete-time broadcasts of its global coordinates. The GPS-denied UAV simultaneously receives the broadcast and takes direction of arrival (DOA) measurements towards the origin of the broadcast in its local coordinate frame (obtained via an inertial navigation system (INS)). Read More

This paper presents the first ever approach for solving \emph{continuous-observation} Decentralized Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (Dec-POMDPs) and their semi-Markovian counterparts, Dec-POSMDPs. This contribution is especially important in robotics, where a vast number of sensors provide continuous observation data. A continuous-observation policy representation is introduced using Stochastic Kernel-based Finite State Automata (SK-FSAs). Read More

Robust environment perception is essential for decision-making on robots operating in complex domains. Intelligent task execution requires principled treatment of uncertainty sources in a robot's observation model. This is important not only for low-level observations (e. Read More

We consider Arrovian aggregation of preferences over lotteries that are represented by skew-symmetric bilinear (SSB) utility functions, a significant generalization of von Neumann-Morgenstern utility functions due to Fishburn, in which utility is assigned to pairs of alternatives. We show that the largest domain of preferences that simultaneously allows for independence of irrelevant alternatives and Pareto optimality when comparing lotteries based on accumulated SSB welfare is a domain in which preferences over lotteries are completely determined by ordinal preferences over pure alternatives. In particular, a lottery is preferred to another lottery if and only if the former is more likely to return a preferred alternative. Read More

The model presented in this paper experiments with a comprehensive simulant agent in order to provide an exploratory platform in which simulation modelers may try alternative scenarios and participation in policy decision-making. The framework is built in a computationally distributed online format in which users can join in and visually explore the results. Modeled activity involves daily routine errands, such as shopping, visiting the doctor or engaging in the labor market. Read More

A distributed algorithm is described for finding a common fixed point of a family of m>1 nonlinear maps M_i : R^n -> R^n assuming that each map is a paracontraction and that at least one such common fixed point exists. The common fixed point is simultaneously computed by m agents assuming each agent i knows only M_i, the current estimates of the fixed point generated by its neighbors, and nothing more. Each agent recursively updates its estimate of a fixed point by utilizing the current estimates generated by each of its neighbors. Read More

This paper analyses the DeGroot-Friedkin model for evolution of the individuals' social powers in a social network when the network topology varies dynamically (described by dynamic relative interaction matrices). The DeGroot-Friedkin model describes how individual social power (self-appraisal, self-weight) evolves as a network of individuals discuss a sequence of issues. We seek to study dynamically changing relative interactions because interactions may change depending on the issue being discussed. Read More

Voting systems typically treat all voters equally. We argue that perhaps they should not: Voters who have supported good choices in the past should be given higher weight than voters who have supported bad ones. To develop a formal framework for desirable weighting schemes, we draw on no-regret learning. Read More

Although various norms for reciprocity-based cooperation have been suggested that are evolutionarily stable against invasion from free riders, the process of alternation of norms and the role of diversified norms remain unclear in the evolution of cooperation. We clarify the co-evolutionary dynamics of norms and cooperation in indirect reciprocity and also identify the indispensable norms for the evolution of cooperation. Inspired by the gene knockout method, a genetic engineering technique, we developed the norm knockout method and clarified the norms necessary for the establishment of cooperation. Read More

Deep neural networks coupled with fast simulation and improved computation have led to recent successes in the field of reinforcement learning (RL). However, most current RL-based approaches fail to generalize since: (a) the gap between simulation and real world is so large that policy-learning approaches fail to transfer; (b) even if policy learning is done in real world, the data scarcity leads to failed generalization from training to test scenarios (e.g. Read More

This paper revisits the problem of multi-agent consensus from a graph signal processing perspective. By defining the graph filter from the consensus protocol, we establish the direct relation between average consensus of multi-agent systems and filtering of graph signals. This relation not only provides new insights of the average consensus, it also turns out to be a powerful tool to design effective consensus protocols for uncertain networks, which is difficult to deal with by existing time-domain methods. Read More

The integration of multiple viewpoints became an increasingly popular approach to deal with agent-based simulations. Despite their disparities, recent approaches successfully manage to run such multi-level simulations. Yet, are they doing it appropriately? This paper tries to answer that question, with an analysis based on a generic model of the temporal dynamics of multi-level simulations. Read More

The problem of achieving common understanding between agents that use different vocabularies has been mainly addressed by designing techniques that explicitly negotiate mappings between their vocabularies, requiring agents to share a meta-language. In this paper we consider the case of agents that use different vocabularies and have no meta-language in common, but share the knowledge of how to perform a task, given by the specification of an interaction protocol. For this situation, we present a framework that lets agents learn a vocabulary alignment from the experience of interacting. Read More

Affiliations: 1Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 2Technical University of Denmark, 3Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 4Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Epistemic planning can be used for decision making in multi-agent situations with distributed knowledge and capabilities. Recently, Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL) has been shown to provide a very natural and expressive framework for epistemic planning. We extend the DEL-based epistemic planning framework to include perspective shifts, allowing us to define new notions of sequential and conditional planning with implicit coordination. Read More

Epistemic planning can be used for decision making in multi-agent situations with distributed knowledge and capabilities. Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL) has been shown to provide a very natural and expressive framework for epistemic planning. In this paper, we aim to give an accessible introduction to DEL-based epistemic planning. Read More

One of the key challenges for multi-agent learning is scalability. In this paper, we introduce a technique for speeding up multi-agent learning by exploiting concurrent and incremental experience sharing. This solution adaptively identifies opportunities to transfer experiences between agents and allows for the rapid acquisition of appropriate policies in large-scale, stochastic, homogeneous multi-agent systems. Read More

One-sided matching mechanisms are fundamental for assigning a set of indivisible objects to a set of self-interested agents when monetary transfers are not allowed. Two widely-studied randomized mechanisms in multiagent settings are the Random Serial Dictatorship (RSD) and the Probabilistic Serial Rule (PS). Both mechanisms require only that agents specify ordinal preferences and have a number of desirable economic and computational properties. Read More

Many real-world problems, such as network packet routing and urban traffic control, are naturally modeled as multi-agent reinforcement learning (RL) problems. However, existing multi-agent RL methods typically scale poorly in the problem size. Therefore, a key challenge is to translate the success of deep learning on single-agent RL to the multi-agent setting. Read More

We consider elections where the voters come one at a time, in a streaming fashion, and devise space-efficient algorithms which identify an approximate winning committee with respect to common multiwinner proportional representation voting rules; specifically, we consider the Approval-based and the Borda-based variants of both the Chamberlin-- ourant rule and the Monroe rule. We complement our algorithms with lower bounds. Somewhat surprisingly, our results imply that, using space which does not depend on the number of voters it is possible to efficiently identify an approximate representative committee of fixed size over vote streams with huge number of voters. Read More

Congestion problems are omnipresent in today's complex networks and represent a challenge in many research domains. In the context of Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL), approaches like difference rewards and resource abstraction have shown promising results in tackling such problems. Resource abstraction was shown to be an ideal candidate for solving large-scale resource allocation problems in a fully decentralized manner. Read More

Multi-agents systems communication is a technology, which provides a way for multiple interacting intelligent agents to communicate with each other and with environment. Multiple-agent systems are used to solve problems that are difficult for solving by individual agent. Multiple-agent communication technologies can be used for management and organization of computing fog and act as a global, distributed operating system. Read More

Many societal decision problems lie in high-dimensional continuous spaces not amenable to the voting techniques common for their discrete or single-dimensional counterparts. These problems are typically discretized before running an election or decided upon through negotiation by representatives. We propose a meta-algorithm called \emph{Iterative Local Voting} for collective decision-making in this setting, in which voters are sequentially sampled and asked to modify a candidate solution within some local neighborhood of its current value, as defined by a ball in some chosen norm. Read More

In this paper a decentralized control algorithm for systems composed of $N$ dynamically decoupled agents, coupled by feasibility constraints, is presented. The control problem is divided into $N$ optimal control sub-problems and a communication scheme is proposed to decouple computations. The derivative of the solution of each sub-problem is used to approximate the evolution of the system allowing the algorithm to decentralize and parallelize computations. Read More

We propose distributed online open loop planning (DOOLP), a general framework for online multiagent coordination and decision making under uncertainty. DOOLP is based on online heuristic search in the space defined by a generative model of the domain dynamics, which is exploited by agents to simulate and evaluate the consequences of their potential choices. We also propose distributed online Thompson sampling (DOTS) as an effective instantiation of the DOOLP framework. Read More

Successful analysis of player skills in video games has important impacts on the process of enhancing player experience without undermining their continuous skill development. Moreover, player skill analysis becomes more intriguing in team-based video games because such form of study can help discover useful factors in effective team formation. In this paper, we consider the problem of skill decomposition in MOBA (MultiPlayer Online Battle Arena) games, with the goal to understand what player skill factors are essential for the outcome of a game match. Read More

We investigate the effects of social interactions in task al- location using Evolutionary Game Theory (EGT). We propose a simple task-allocation game and study how different learning mechanisms can give rise to specialised and non- specialised colonies under different ecological conditions. By combining agent-based simulations and adaptive dynamics we show that social learning can result in colonies of generalists or specialists, depending on ecological parameters. Read More

Multi-agent path finding (MAPF) is well-studied in artificial intelligence, robotics, theoretical computer science and operations research. We discuss issues that arise when generalizing MAPF methods to real-world scenarios and four research directions that address them. We emphasize the importance of addressing these issues as opposed to developing faster methods for the standard formulation of the MAPF problem. Read More

Until now mean-field-type game theory was not focused on cognitively-plausible models of choices in humans, animals, machines, robots, software-defined and mobile devices strategic interactions. This work presents some effects of users' psychology in mean-field-type games. In addition to the traditional "material" payoff modelling, psychological patterns are introduced in order to better capture and understand behaviors that are observed in engineering practice or in experimental settings. Read More

This paper investigates the task assignment problem for multiple dispersed robots constrained by limited communication range. The robots are initially randomly distributed and need to visit several target locations while minimizing the total travel time. A centralized rendezvous-based algorithm is proposed, under which all the robots first move towards a rendezvous position until communication paths are established between every pair of robots either directly or through intermediate peers, and then one robot is chosen as the leader to make a centralized task assignment for the other robots. Read More

All-pay auctions, a common mechanism for various human and agent interactions, suffers, like many other mechanisms, from the possibility of players' failure to participate in the auction. We model such failures, and fully characterize equilibrium for this class of games, we present a symmetric equilibrium and show that under some conditions the equilibrium is unique. We reveal various properties of the equilibrium, such as the lack of influence of the most-likely-to-participate player on the behavior of the other players. Read More

Online learning with streaming data in a distributed and collaborative manner can be useful in a wide range of applications. This topic has been receiving considerable attention in recent years with emphasis on both single-task and multitask scenarios. In single-task adaptation, agents cooperate to track an objective of common interest, while in multitask adaptation agents track multiple objectives simultaneously. Read More

Managing micro-tasks on crowdsourcing marketplaces involves balancing conflicting objectives -- the quality of work, total cost incurred and time to completion. Previous agents have focused on cost-quality, or cost-time tradeoffs, limiting their real-world applicability. As a step towards this goal we present Octopus, the first AI agent that jointly manages all three objectives in tandem. Read More


In multi-robot systems where a central decision maker is specifying the movement of each individual robot, a communication failure can severely impair the performance of the system. This paper develops a motion strategy that allows robots to safely handle critical communication failures for such multi-robot architectures. For each robot, the proposed algorithm computes a time horizon over which collisions with other robots are guaranteed not to occur. Read More

We consider a swarm of $n$ autonomous mobile robots, distributed on a 2-dimensional grid. A basic task for such a swarm is the gathering process: all robots have to gather at one (not predefined) place. The work in this paper is motivated by the following insight: On one side, for swarms of robots distributed in the 2-dimensional Euclidean space, several gathering algorithms are known for extremely simple robots that are oblivious, have bounded viewing radius, no compass, and no "flags" to communicate a status to others. Read More

This paper extends and adapts an existing abstract model into an empirical metropolitan region in Brazil. The model - named SEAL: a Spatial Economic Agent-based Lab - comprehends a framework to enable public policy ex-ante analysis. The aim of the model is to use official data and municipalities spatial boundaries to allow for policy experimentation. Read More

Matrix games like Prisoner's Dilemma have guided research on social dilemmas for decades. However, they necessarily treat the choice to cooperate or defect as an atomic action. In real-world social dilemmas these choices are temporally extended. Read More

This paper studies scenarios of cyclic dominance in a coevolutionary spatial model in which game strategies and links between agents adaptively evolve over time. The Optional Prisoner's Dilemma (OPD) game is employed. The OPD is an extended version of the traditional Prisoner's Dilemma where players have a third option to abstain from playing the game. Read More

In many problems, agents cooperate locally so that a leader or fusion center can infer the state of every agent from probing the state of only a small number of agents. Versions of this problem arise when a fusion center reconstructs an extended physical field by accessing the state of just a few of the sensors measuring the field, or a leader monitors the formation of a team of robots. Given a link cost, the paper presents a polynomial time algorithm to design a minimum cost coordinated network dynamics followed by the agents, under an observability constraint. Read More

In human societies, people's willingness to compete and strive for better social status as well as being envious of those perceived in some way superior lead to social structures that are intrinsically hierarchical. Here we propose an agent-based, network model to mimic the ranking behaviour of individuals and its possible repercussions in human society. The main ingredient of the model is the assumption that the relevant feature of social interactions is each individual's keenness to maximise his or her status relative to others. Read More

Interactions between vehicles and pedestrians have always been a major problem in traffic safety. Experienced human drivers are generally able to analyze the environment and choose driving strategies that will help them avoid crashes. What is not yet clear, however, is how automated vehicles will interact with pedestrians. Read More

Affiliations: 1Department of Computer Science, Stony Brook University, USA, 2SRI International, USA, 3Cyber-Physical Systems Group, Technische Universität Wien, Austria, 4Cyber-Physical Systems Group, Technische Universität Wien, Austria, 5Department of Computer Science, Stony Brook University, USA, 6Department of Computer Science, Stony Brook University, USA

We introduce the concept of a V-formation game between a controller and an attacker, where controller's goal is to maneuver the plant (a simple model of flocking dynamics) into a V-formation, and the goal of the attacker is to prevent the controller from doing so. Controllers in V-formation games utilize a new formulation of model-predictive control we call Adaptive-Horizon MPC (AMPC), giving them extraordinary power: we prove that under certain controllability assumptions, an AMPC controller is able to attain V-formation with probability 1. We define several classes of attackers, including those that in one move can remove R birds from the flock, or introduce random displacement into flock dynamics. Read More