Multilevel Coordination Agent (MCA) Edmund Durfee, Jeffrey Cox,

Multilevel Coordination Agent (MCA) Edmund Durfee, Jeffrey Cox,

Multilevel Coordination Agent (MCA)
Edmund Durfee, Jeffrey Cox, and Thomas Bartold
University of Michigan
Deconfliction:

One Simple
Deconfliction
Result

Avoiding Disruption:

Collects together abstract descriptions of
coalition agents plans.
Identifies potential unintended conflicts.
Formulates possible resolutions at current
level of plan detail:
Synchronization to avoid demands
on same assets at same time.
Selection to strictly assign assets.
Collects together more details about plan
steps involved in conflicts.
Iteratively identifies and resolves conflicts at
the deeper levels.
Presents options as they are found.
Commander can choose to act on an option
that has been found, or to wait for possibly
better choices.

Minimal
Disruption
after adding
Evac
Agents

As more coalition partners formulate plans,
coordinating them could involve changing
coordination commitments already agreed to
by partners that began sooner.
Revoking commitments and implementing
new ones can incur downstream costs.
All else being equal, should prefer
coordination solutions that minimally disrupt
commitments already in place.
MCA capabilities support:
Providing estimates on the amount of
disruption associated with a solution.
Sorting solutions based on disruption.
Biasing the top-down search to find
less disruptive solutions sooner.

Finding and Exploiting Synergies:

Least Duration & Lowest Cost after
adding Evac Agents

Deconfliction is based on finding actions of
agents that achieve contradictory effects.
Synergies are based on finding actions that
achieve similar effects.
Simple case:
Discover that agents are planning
actions with redundant effects.
Determine which of the agents can
drop unnecessary actions.
Insert synchronization constraints
between agents to assure that agent
takes action when others need it to.
Top-down search finds big merges faster.
Deeper solutions partition assignments.
Sort by estimates of execution efficiency and
present options to commander as they are
found.
CoABS CoAX 2002 Demonstration

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