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Multi-agent Planning for thermalling gliders using multi level graph-search

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: This paper solves a path planning problem for a group of gliders. The glidersare tasked with visiting a set of interest points. The gliders have limitedrange but are able to increase their range by visiting special points calledthermals. The problem addressed in this paper is of path planning for thegliders such that, the total number of interest points visited by the glidersis maximized. This is referred to as the multi-agent problem. The problem issolved by first decomposing it into several single-agent problems. In asingle-agent problem a set of interest points are allocated to a single glider.This problem is solved by planning a path which maximizes the number of visitedinterest points from the allocated set. This is achieved through a uniform costgraph search, as shown in our earlier work. The multi-agent problem nowconsists of determining the best allocation (of interest points) for eachglider. Two ways are presented of solving this problem, a brute force searchapproach as shown in earlier work and a Branch &Bound type graph search. TheBranch&Bound approach is the main contribution of the paper. This approach isproven to be optimal and shown to be faster than the brute force search usingsimulations.

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