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309
AND/OR Search Spaces for Graphical Models
, 2004
"... The paper introduces an AND/OR search space perspective for graphical models that include probabilistic networks (directed or undirected) and constraint networks. In contrast to the traditional (OR) search space view, the AND/OR search tree displays some of the independencies present in the gr ..."
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Cited by 119 (44 self)
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The paper introduces an AND/OR search space perspective for graphical models that include probabilistic networks (directed or undirected) and constraint networks. In contrast to the traditional (OR) search space view, the AND/OR search tree displays some of the independencies present in the graphical model explicitly and may sometime reduce the search space exponentially. Indeed, most
Decentralised Coordination of LowPower Embedded Devices Using the MaxSum Algorithm
 In: 7 th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems (AAMAS08
, 2008
"... This paper considers the problem of performing decentralised coordination of lowpower embedded devices (as is required within many environmental sensing and surveillance applications). Specifically, we address the generic problem of maximising social welfare within a group of interacting agents. We ..."
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Cited by 96 (30 self)
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This paper considers the problem of performing decentralised coordination of lowpower embedded devices (as is required within many environmental sensing and surveillance applications). Specifically, we address the generic problem of maximising social welfare within a group of interacting agents. We propose a novel representation of the problem, as a cyclic bipartite factor graph, composed of variable and function nodes (representing the agents’ states and utilities respectively). We show that such representation allows us to use an extension of the maxsum algorithm to generate approximate solutions to this global optimisation problem through local decentralised message passing. We empirically evaluate this approach on a canonical coordination problem (graph colouring), and benchmark it against state of the art approximate and complete algorithms (DSA and DPOP). We show that our approach is robust to lossy communication, that it generates solutions closer to those of DPOP than DSA is able to, and that it does so with a communication cost (in terms of total messages size) that scales very well with the number of agents in the system (compared to the exponential increase of DPOP). Finally, we describe a hardware implementation of our algorithm operating on lowpower Chipcon CC2431 SystemonChip sensor nodes.
Collaborative Multiagent Reinforcement Learning by Payoff Propagation
 JOURNAL OF MACHINE LEARNING RESEARCH
, 2006
"... In this article we describe a set of scalable techniques for learning the behavior of a group of agents in a collaborative multiagent setting. As a basis we use the framework of coordination graphs of Guestrin, Koller, and Parr (2002a) which exploits the dependencies between agents to decompose t ..."
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Cited by 65 (2 self)
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In this article we describe a set of scalable techniques for learning the behavior of a group of agents in a collaborative multiagent setting. As a basis we use the framework of coordination graphs of Guestrin, Koller, and Parr (2002a) which exploits the dependencies between agents to decompose the global payoff function into a sum of local terms. First, we deal with the singlestate case and describe a payoff propagation algorithm that computes the individual actions that approximately maximize the global payoff function. The method can be viewed as the decisionmaking analogue of belief propagation in Bayesian networks. Second, we focus on learning the behavior of the agents in sequential decisionmaking tasks. We introduce different modelfree reinforcementlearning techniques, unitedly called Sparse Cooperative Qlearning, which approximate the global actionvalue function based on the topology of a coordination graph, and perform updates using the contribution of the individual agents to the maximal global action value. The combined use of an edgebased decomposition of the actionvalue function and the payoff propagation algorithm for efficient action selection, result in an approach that scales only linearly in the problem size. We provide experimental evidence that our method outperforms related multiagent reinforcementlearning methods based on temporal differences.
BnBAdopt: An Asynchronous BranchandBound . . .
, 2008
"... Distributed constraint optimization (DCOP) problems are a popular way of formulating and solving agentcoordination problems. It is often desirable to solve DCOP problems optimally with memorybounded and asynchronous algorithms. We introduce BranchandBound ADOPT (BnBADOPT), a memorybounded asyn ..."
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Cited by 59 (15 self)
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Distributed constraint optimization (DCOP) problems are a popular way of formulating and solving agentcoordination problems. It is often desirable to solve DCOP problems optimally with memorybounded and asynchronous algorithms. We introduce BranchandBound ADOPT (BnBADOPT), a memorybounded asynchronous DCOP algorithm that uses the message passing and communication framework of ADOPT, a well known memorybounded asynchronous DCOP algorithm, but changes the search strategy of ADOPT from bestfirst search to depthfirst branchandbound search. Our experimental results show that BnBADOPT is up to one order of magnitude faster than ADOPT on a variety of large DCOP problems and faster than NCBB, a memorybounded synchronous DCOP algorithm, on most of these DCOP problems.
A distributed framework for solving the multiagent plan coordination problem
 In AAMAS
, 2005
"... We examine whether and how the Multiagent Plan Coordination Problem, the problem of resolving interactions between the plans of multiple agents, can be cast as a Distributed Constraint Optimization Problem (DCOP). We use ADOPT, a stateoftheart DCOP solver that can solve DCOPs in an asynchronous, ..."
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Cited by 56 (3 self)
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We examine whether and how the Multiagent Plan Coordination Problem, the problem of resolving interactions between the plans of multiple agents, can be cast as a Distributed Constraint Optimization Problem (DCOP). We use ADOPT, a stateoftheart DCOP solver that can solve DCOPs in an asynchronous, parallel manner using local communication between individual computational agents. We then demonstrate how we can take advantage of novel flawassignment strategies and plan coordination algorithms to significantly improve the performance of ADOPT on representative coordination problems. We close with a consideration of possible advances in framing our DCOP representation of the Multiagent
Mdpop: Faithful distributed implementation of efficient social choice problems
 In AAMAS’06  Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
, 2006
"... In the efficient social choice problem, the goal is to assign values, subject to side constraints, to a set of variables to maximize the total utility across a population of agents, where each agent has private information about its utility function. In this paper we model the social choice problem ..."
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Cited by 48 (17 self)
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In the efficient social choice problem, the goal is to assign values, subject to side constraints, to a set of variables to maximize the total utility across a population of agents, where each agent has private information about its utility function. In this paper we model the social choice problem as a distributed constraint optimization problem (DCOP), in which each agent can communicate with other agents that share an interest in one or more variables. Whereas existing DCOP algorithms can be easily manipulated by an agent, either by misreporting private information or deviating from the algorithm, we introduce MDPOP, the first DCOP algorithm that provides a faithful distributed implementation for efficient social choice. This provides a concrete example of how the methods of mechanism design can be unified with those of distributed optimization. Faithfulness ensures that no agent can benefit by unilaterally deviating from any aspect of the protocol, neither informationrevelation, computation, nor communication, and whatever the private information of other agents. We allow for payments by agents to a central bank, which is the only central authority that we require. To achieve faithfulness, we carefully integrate the VickreyClarkeGroves (VCG) mechanism with the DPOP algorithm, such that each agent is only asked to perform computation, report
Impact of problem centralization in distributed constraint optimization algorithms
 In AAMAS
, 2005
"... Recent progress in Distributed Constraint Optimization Problems (DCOP) has led to a range of algorithms now available which differ in their amount of problem centralization. Problem centralization can have a significant impact on the amount of computation required by an agent but unfortunately the d ..."
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Cited by 47 (4 self)
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Recent progress in Distributed Constraint Optimization Problems (DCOP) has led to a range of algorithms now available which differ in their amount of problem centralization. Problem centralization can have a significant impact on the amount of computation required by an agent but unfortunately the dominant evaluation metric of “number of cycles ” fails to account for this cost. We analyze the relative performance of two recent algorithms for DCOP: OptAPO, which performs partial centralization, and Adopt, which maintains distribution of the DCOP. Previous comparison of Adopt and OptAPO has found that OptAPO requires fewer cycles than Adopt. We extend the cycles metric to define “CycleBased Runtime (CBR) ” to account for both the amount of computation required in each cycle and the communication latency between cycles. Using the CBR metric, we show that Adopt outperforms OptAPO under a range of communication latencies. We also ask: What level of centralization is most suitable for a given communication latency? We use CBR to create performance curves for three algorithms that vary in degree of centralization, namely Adopt, OptAPO, and centralized Branch and Bound search.
Quality Guarantees on kOptimal Solutions for Distributed Constraint Optimization Problems
, 2007
"... A distributed constraint optimization problem (DCOP) is a formalism that captures the rewards and costs of local interactions within a team of agents. Because complete algorithms to solve DCOPs are unsuitable for some dynamic or anytime domains, researchers have explored incomplete DCOP algorithms t ..."
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Cited by 44 (10 self)
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A distributed constraint optimization problem (DCOP) is a formalism that captures the rewards and costs of local interactions within a team of agents. Because complete algorithms to solve DCOPs are unsuitable for some dynamic or anytime domains, researchers have explored incomplete DCOP algorithms that result in locally optimal solutions. One type of categorization of such algorithms, and the solutions they produce, is koptimality; a koptimal solution is one that cannot be improved by any deviation by k or fewer agents. This paper presents the first known guarantees on solution quality for koptimal solutions. The guarantees are independent of the costs and rewards in the DCOP, and once computed can be used for any DCOP of a given constraint graph structure.
Asynchronous forwardbounding for distributed constraints optimization
 In: Proc. 1st Intern. Workshop on Distributed and Speculative Constraint Processing. (2005
, 2006
"... A new search algorithm for solving distributed constraint optimization problems (DisCOPs) is presented. Agents assign variables sequentially and propagate their assignments asynchronously. The asynchronous forwardbounding algorithm (AFB) is a distributed optimization search algorithm that keeps one ..."
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Cited by 42 (8 self)
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A new search algorithm for solving distributed constraint optimization problems (DisCOPs) is presented. Agents assign variables sequentially and propagate their assignments asynchronously. The asynchronous forwardbounding algorithm (AFB) is a distributed optimization search algorithm that keeps one consistent partial assignment at all times. Forward bounding propagates the bounds on the cost of solutions by sending copies of the partial assignment to all unassigned agents concurrently. The algorithm is described in detail and its correctness proven. Experimental evaluation of AFB on random MaxDisCSPs reveals a phase transition as the tightness of the problem increases. This effect is analogous to the phase transition of MaxCSP when local consistency maintenance is applied [3]. AFB outperforms Synchronous Branch & Bound (SBB) as well as the asynchronous stateoftheart ADOPT algorithm, for the harder problem instances. Both asynchronous algorithms outperform SBB by a large factor. 1