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Coordination Planning: Applying Control Synthesis Methods for a Class of Distributed Agents

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4 Author(s)
Kiam Tian Seow ; Sch. of Comput. Eng., Nanyang Technol. Univ., Singapore ; Manh Tung Pham ; Chuan Ma ; Yokoo, M.

This brief proposes a new multi-agent planning approach to logical coordination synthesis that views a class of distributed agents as discrete-event processes. The coordination synthesis problem involves finding a coordination module for every agent, using which their coordinated interactions would never violate some specified inter-agent constraint. This brief first shows explicitly that, though conceptually different, the well-researched problem of supervision in control science and the problem of distributed agent coordination planning in computer agents science are mathematically related. This basic result enables the application of the vast body of knowledge and associated synthesis tools already founded in discrete-event control theory for automatic coordination synthesis of distributed agents. Within this logical framework, a basic planning methodology applying the discrete-event control synthesis methods is proposed and illustrated using TCT, a software design tool implementing these methods. A simple example demonstrates how it supports formal synthesis of coordination modules for distributed agents. Discussions in relation to previous work examine the relative significance of the new multi-agent planning framework.

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Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )