Efficient and Complete Centralized Multi-Robot Path Planning

TitleEfficient and Complete Centralized Multi-Robot Path Planning
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLuna, R, Bekris, KE
Conference NameIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-11)
Date Published25-30 Sept.
Conference LocationSan Francisco, CA

Multi-robot path planning is abstracted as the problem of computing a set of non-colliding paths on a graph for multiple robots. A naive search of the composite search space, although complete, has exponential complexity and becomes computationally prohibitive for problems with just a few robots. This paper proposes an efficient and complete algorithm for solving a general class of multi-robot path planning problems, specifically those where there are at most n-2 robots in a connected graph of n vertices. This paper provides a full proof of completeness. The algorithm employs two primitives: "push", where a robot moves toward its goal until no progress can be made, and "swap", that allows two robots to swap positions without altering the position of any other robot. Additionally, this paper provides a smoothing procedure for improving solution quality. Simulated experiments compare the proposed approach with several other centralized and decoupled planners, and show that the proposed technique improves computation time and solution quality, while scaling to problems with 100s of robots, solving them in under 5 seconds.

Refereed DesignationRefereed