Decentralized Patrolling Under Constraints in Dynamic Environments

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We investigate a decentralized patrolling problem for dynamic environments where information is distributed alongside threats. In this problem, agents obtain information at a location, but may suffer attacks from the threat at that location. In a decentralized fashion, each agent patrols in a designated area of the environment and interacts with a limited number of agents. Therefore, the goal of these agents is to coordinate to gather as much information as possible while limiting the damage incurred. Hence, we model this class of problem as a transition-decoupled partially observable Markov decision process with health con- straints. Furthermore, we propose scalable decentralized online algorithms based on Monte Carlo tree search and a factored belief vector. We empirically evaluate our algorithms on decen- tralized patrolling problems and benchmark them against the state-of-the-art online planning solver. The results show that our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art by more than 56% for six agents patrolling problems and can scale up to 24 agents in reasonable time.

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 author = {Shaofei Chen and Feng Wu and Lincheng Shen and Jing Chen and Sarvapali D Ramchurn},
 doi = {10.1109/TCYB.2015.2505737},
 journal = {IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics (IEEE SMC)},
 number = {12},
 pages = {3364-3376},
 title = {Decentralized Patrolling Under Constraints in Dynamic Environments},
 volume = {46},
 year = {2015}