Distributed Coalition Formation for Sparsely Networked Large-Scale Multi-Agent Systems
Department of Computer Science & NCSA, UIUC
Last modified: June 2, 2006
We present a fully distributed algorithm for group or coalition formation among collaborative autonomous agents. The algorithm is based on two main ideas. One is a distributed computation of maximal cliques (of up to pre-specified size) in the underlying graph that captures the interconnection communication topology of the agents. Hence, given the current configuration of the agents, the groups that are formed are characterized by a high fault tolerance with respect to the subsequent node and/or link failures.The second idea is that each agent chooses its most preferable coalition based on how highly the agent values each such coalition in terms of the coalition members' combined resources or capabilities. Coalitions with sufficient resources for fulfilling highly desirable task(s) are preferable to coalitions with resources that suffice only for completing less valuable tasks. We envision variants of our distributed coalition formation algorithm to prove themselves useful coordination subroutines in many large-scale multi-agent system applications where the agents may repeatedly need to form temporary groups or coalitions in an efficient, online and fully decentralized manner.