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2008

Communication-Based Decomposition Mechanisms for Decentralized MDPs

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Communication-Based Decomposition Mechanisms for Decentralized MDPs
Multi-agent planning in stochastic environments can be framed formally as a decentralized Markov decision problem. Many real-life distributed problems that arise in manufacturing, multi-robot coordination and information gathering scenarios can be formalized using this framework. However, finding the optimal solution in the general case is hard, limiting the applicability of recently developed algorithms. This paper provides a practical approach for solving decentralized control problems when communication among the decision makers is possible, but costly. We develop the notion of communication-based mechanism that allows us to decompose a decentralized MDP into multiple single-agent problems. In this framework, referred to as decentralized semi-Markov decision process with direct communication (Dec-SMDP-Com), agents operate separately between communications. We show that finding an optimal mechanism is equivalent to solving optimally a Dec-SMDP-Com. We also provide a heuristic search...
Claudia V. Goldman, Shlomo Zilberstein
Added 12 Dec 2010
Updated 12 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2008
Where JAIR
Authors Claudia V. Goldman, Shlomo Zilberstein
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