M. Berhault, H. Huang, P. Keskinocak, S. Koenig, W. Elmaghraby, P. Griffin and A. Kleywegt. Robot Exploration with Combinatorial Auctions. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pages 1957-1962, 2003.

Abstract: We study how to coordinate a team of mobile robots to visit a number of given targets in partially unknown terrain. Robotics researchers have studied single-item auctions (where robots bid on single targets) to perform this exploration task but these do not take synergies between the targets into account. We therefore design combinatorial auctions (where robots bid on bundles of targets), propose different combinatorial bidding strategies and compare their performance with each other, as well as to single-item auctions and an optimal centralized mechanism. Our computational results in TeamBots, a multi-robot simulator, indicate that combinatorial auctions generally lead to significantly superior team performance than single-item auctions, and generate very good results compared to an optimal centralized mechanism.

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