AI Seminar 2005/2006

(please see the main page for schedule information)

Speaker: Sven Koenig

The Auction Robot Project


Consider the following agent-coordination task: A team of Mars rovers needs to visit a number of rocks to take rock samples. The assignment of rocks to rovers can turn out to be suboptimal as the rovers gain additional information about the terrain.  How to assign and re-assign rocks to rovers is a difficult problem. For example, centralized control is inefficient in terms of both the required amount of computation and communication since the central controller is the bottleneck of the system. Auctions, on the other hand, are efficient in terms of both the required amount of computation and communication since information is compressed into numeric bids that the robots can compute in parallel. In this talk, I will describe our recent theoretical results on how to set up auctions so that they run in real time, yet achieve good team performance. In particular, I will talk about our recent results that provide the first provable constant factor performance guarantee of auction mechanisms for agent coordination that I am aware of.

The Auction Robot Project is joint work with researchers from 4 different universities: M. Berhault, H. Huang, S. Jain, D. Kempe, P. Keskinocak, A. Kleywegt, M. Lagoudakis, V. Markakis, A. Meyerson, C. Tovey and X. Zhen.

Speaker Bio

Sven Koenig is an associate professor in computer science at the University of Southern California. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University for his thesis on "Goal-Directed Acting with Incomplete Information" and is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award, an IBM Faculty Partnership Award, a Charles Lee Powell Foundation Award, a Raytheon Faculty Fellowship Award, the Tong Leong Lim Pre-Doctoral Prize from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Fulbright Fellowship. Sven has published over 100 papers in various areas of artificial intelligence and robotics. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR) and on the steering or advisory committees of ICAPS, SARA, and Americas School on Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. This year, he is a program co-chair of the "International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems" (AAMAS) and helped to start "Robotics: Science and Systems," a highly selective robotics conference.

Maintainer is

Jack Mostow

Last modified: 7/29/2005 7:41 PM