Distributed Problem Solving for Air Fleet Control: Framework and Implementations
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Distributed problem solving, or multiple-agent problem solving, refers to the process by which several agents interact to achieve goals. In this Note, we describe the development of a framework for implementation of multiple cooperative agents. We also describe experiments and demonstrations with different strategies of cooperation, using air-traffic control and remotely piloted vehicle RPV fleet coordination as our exemplary task domains. Multiagent cooperation is discussed first in a domain-independent fashion, and then in the context of the two task domains. We contrast the methodologies, difficulties, and opportunities of distributed and centralized problem solving. From this analysis, we postulate a set of requirements on the information- gathering and organizational policies of group problem-solving agents, and we develop a general framework for implementing such policies. We then discuss a set of distributed problem solvers that we have developed for air-traffic control and surveillance RPV fleet control. Finally, we describe some experimental findings using the cooperative strategies, with particular emphasis on role assignment within the group and communications between group members.
- Air Navigation and Guidance