X. Zheng and S. Koenig. Reaction Functions for Task Allocation to Cooperative Agents. In Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS), pages 559-566, 2008.

Abstract: In this paper, we present ARF, our initial effort at solving task-allocation problems where cooperative agents need to perform tasks simultaneously. An example is multi-agent routing problems where several agents need to visit targets simultaneously, for example, to move obstacles out of the way cooperatively. First, we propose reaction functions as a novel way of characterizing the costs of agents in a distributed way. Second, we show how to approximate reaction functions so that their computation and communication times are polynomial. Third, we show how reaction functions can be used by a central planner to allocate tasks to agents. Finally, we show experimentally that the resulting task allocations are better than those of other greedy methods that do not use reaction functions.

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