Predictability & criticality metrics for coordination in complex environments

TitlePredictability & criticality metrics for coordination in complex environments
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2008
AuthorsMaheswaran, R. T., P. Szekely, M. Becker, S. Fitzpatrick, G. Gati, J. Jin, R. Neches, N. Noori, C. M. Rogers, R. Sanchez, K. Smyth, and C. van Buskirk
Conference NameProceedings of the 7th international joint conference on Autonomous agents and multiagent systems

We address the problem of coordinating the activities of a team of agents in a dynamic, uncertain, nonlinear environment. Bounded rationality, bounded communication, subjectivity and distribution make it extremely challenging to find effective strategies. In these domains it is difficult to accurately predict whether potential policy modifications will lead to an increase in the value of the team reward. Our Predictability and Criticality Metrics (PCM) approach errs on the side of safety, and advocates considering policy modifications that are guaranteed to not harm the current policy, and uses simple metrics to choose from within that set a modification that increases the team reward. In the context of the DARPA Coordinators program, we show how the PCM approach yielded a system that significantly outperformed several competing approaches in an extensive independent evaluation.