The AAAI Fall Symposium 2011 on
Multi-agent Coordination under Uncertainty

November 4-6, 2011
Westin Arlington Gateway, Arlington, VA

Symposium Schedule

Symposium will be organized as eight invited talks from prominent researchers in the area, four talks on specific topics and discussions on future directions in various sub-areas of Multi-agent Coordination under Uncertainty. The invited speakers are:

Here is the detailed schedule: PDF.

Symposium Overview

In domains ranging from earth observing sensor webs to collaborating ambulances or fire fighters during disaster rescue or software personal assistants scheduling meetings to "coordinators" assisting in executing military missions or exploration of underwater terrains using AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) to handling large scale humanitarian logistics, multiple intelligent agents need to coordinate in the presence of uncertainty to achieve team goals. While there have been many interesting models and frameworks presented for addressing and solving various sub-aspects of the problem, the algorithms employed for solving the models have had to tradeoff between richness in representation and scalability. In fact, the key hindrances to achieving scalable and quality guaranteed coordination between agents are:

  • Uncertainty: This can arise due to: probabilistic effects of actions taken by agents, inability of agents (either individually or collectively) to completely observe the world, partial availability or unavailability of communication, partially known or unknown motivations of other agents etc.
  • Coordination horizon: The total number of decision epochs for which agents need to coordinate affects the solution methodology. Depending on the number of decision epochs left and the history of agent decisions, the coordination decision at the current decision epoch can change. Such dependence on history makes the coordination computationally expensive and one of the key reasons for reduced scalability.
  • Objective: Due to the lack of certainty about the world, the goal can be one of:
    • Maximize expected value of all the agents involved;
    • Maximize the probability of achieving the goal;
    • Minimize or prevent certain bad states of the world;
    • and many others.

Researchers from various communities, such as Artificial Intelligence, Operations Research, Game Theory and Logistics (supply chain) communities, have been actively pursuing the various aspects (mentioned above) of the problem. The goal of this symposium is to bring together these researchers to discover and/or better understand the commonalities in the hope of making fundamental breakthroughs in the field. As such, we invite papers from researchers from these communities and we expect to discuss current contributions and potential future research directions.

Organizing Committee

Pradeep Varakantham
School of Information Systems
Singapore Management University
80 Stamford Road, 178902 Singapore

Janusz Marecki
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
1101 Kitchawan Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

William Yeoh
Department of Computer Science
University of Massachusetts
140 Governors Drive, Amherst, MA 01003

Paul Scerri
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213