Computing Convex Coverage Sets for Faster Multi-objective Coordination

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Abstract

In this article, we propose new algorithms for multi-objective coordination graphs (MO-CoGs). Key to the efficiency of these algorithms is that they compute a convex coverage set (CCS) instead of a Pareto coverage set (PCS). Not only is a CCS a sufficient solution set for a large class of problems, it also has important characteristics that facilitate more efficient solutions. We propose two main algorithms for computing a CCS in MO-CoGs. Convex multi-objective variable elimination (CMOVE) computes a CCS by performing a series of agent eliminations, which can be seen as solving a series of local multi-objective subproblems. Variable elimination linear support (VELS) iteratively identifies the single weight vector, w, that can lead to the maximal possible improvement on a partial CCS and calls variable elimination to solve a scalarized instance of the problem for w. VELS is faster than CMOVE for small and medium numbers of objectives and can compute an ε-approximate CCS in a fraction of the runtime. In addition, we propose variants of these methods that employ AND/OR tree search instead of variable elimination to achieve memory efficiency. We analyze the runtime and space complexities of these methods, prove their correctness, and compare them empirically against a naive baseline and an existing PCS method, both in terms of memory-usage and runtime. Our results show that, by focusing on the CCS, these methods achieve much better scalability in the number of agents than the current state of the art.

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