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Coalition Structure Generation with Worst Case Guarantees
, 1999
"... Coalition formation is a key topic in multiagent systems. One may prefer a coalition structure that maximizes the sum of the values of the coalitions, but often the number of coalition structures is too large to allow exhaustive search for the optimal one. Furthermore, finding the optimal coalition ..."
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Cited by 209 (10 self)
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Coalition formation is a key topic in multiagent systems. One may prefer a coalition structure that maximizes the sum of the values of the coalitions, but often the number of coalition structures is too large to allow exhaustive search for the optimal one. Furthermore, finding the optimal coalition structure is NPcomplete. But then, can the coalition structure found via a partial search be guaranteed to be within a bound from optimum? We show that none of the previous coalition structure generation algorithms can establish any bound because they search fewer nodes than a threshold that we show necessary for establishing a bound. We present an algorithm that establishes a tight bound within this minimal amount of search, and show that any other algorithm would have to search strictly more. The fraction of nodes needed to be searched approaches zero as the number of agents grows. If additional time remains, our anytime algorithm searches further, and establishes a progressively lower tight bound. Surprisingly, just searching one more node drops the bound in half. As desired, our algorithm lowers the bound rapidly early on, and exhibits diminishing returns to computation. It also significantly outperforms its obvious contenders. Finally, we show how to distribute the desired
Coalitions Among Computationally Bounded Agents
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1997
"... This paper analyzes coalitions among selfinterested agents that need to solve combinatorial optimization problems to operate e ciently in the world. By colluding (coordinating their actions by solving a joint optimization problem) the agents can sometimes save costs compared to operating individua ..."
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Cited by 167 (24 self)
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This paper analyzes coalitions among selfinterested agents that need to solve combinatorial optimization problems to operate e ciently in the world. By colluding (coordinating their actions by solving a joint optimization problem) the agents can sometimes save costs compared to operating individually. A model of bounded rationality is adopted where computation resources are costly. It is not worthwhile solving the problems optimally: solution quality is decisiontheoretically traded o against computation cost. A normative, application and protocolindependent theory of coalitions among boundedrational agents is devised. The optimal coalition structure and its stability are signi cantly a ected by the agents ' algorithms ' performance pro les and the cost of computation. This relationship is rst analyzed theoretically. Then a domain classi cation including rational and boundedrational agents is introduced. Experimental results are presented in vehicle routing with real data from ve dispatch centers. This problem is NPcomplete and the instances are so large thatwith current technologyany agent's rationality is bounded by computational complexity. 1
Negotiation Among Selfinterested Computationally Limited Agents
, 1996
"... A Dissertation Presented by TUOMAS W. SANDHOLM ..."
Coalition formation among bounded rational agents
, 1995
"... This paper analyzes coalitions among selfinterested agents that need to solve combinatorial optimization problems to operate efficiently in the world. By colluding (coordinating their actions by solving a joint optimization problem), the agents can sometimes save costs compared to operating individ ..."
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Cited by 74 (12 self)
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This paper analyzes coalitions among selfinterested agents that need to solve combinatorial optimization problems to operate efficiently in the world. By colluding (coordinating their actions by solving a joint optimization problem), the agents can sometimes save costs compared to operating individually. A model of bounded rationality is adopted, where computation resources are costly. It is not worth solving the problems optimally: solution quality is decisiontheoretically traded off against computation cost. A normative, protocolindependent theory of coalitions among bounded rational (BR) agents is devised. The optimal coalition structure and its stability are significantly affected by the agents' algorithms' performance profiles (PPs) and the unit cost of computation. This relationship is first analyzed theoretically. A domain classification including rational and BR agents is introduced. Experimental results are presented in the distributed vehicle routing domain using real data from 5 dispatch centers; the optimal coalition structure for BR agents differs significantly from the one for rational agents. These problems are NPcomplete and the instances are so large that, with current technology, any agent's rationality is bounded by computational complexity.
Traveling Salesman Problems With Profits: An Overview
 Transportation Science
, 2001
"... Traveling Salesman Problems with Profits (TSPs with Profits) are a generalization of the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) where it is not necessary to visit all vertices. With each vertex is associated a profit. The objective is to find a route with a satisfying collected profit (maximized) and trav ..."
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Cited by 39 (2 self)
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Traveling Salesman Problems with Profits (TSPs with Profits) are a generalization of the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) where it is not necessary to visit all vertices. With each vertex is associated a profit. The objective is to find a route with a satisfying collected profit (maximized) and travel cost (minimized). Applications of these problems arise in contexts such as traveling salesman problems, job scheduling or carrier transportation. In this paper, the existing literature about TSPs with Profits is surveyed.
Anytime Coalition Structure Generation: An Average Case Study
 Journal of Experimental and Theoretical AI
, 2000
"... Abstract. Coalition formation is a key topic in multiagent systems. One would prefer a coalition structure that maximizes the sum of the values of the coalitions, but often the number of coalition structures is too large to allow for exhaustive search for the optimal one. We present experimental res ..."
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Cited by 32 (4 self)
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Abstract. Coalition formation is a key topic in multiagent systems. One would prefer a coalition structure that maximizes the sum of the values of the coalitions, but often the number of coalition structures is too large to allow for exhaustive search for the optimal one. We present experimental results for three anytime algorithms that search the space of coalition structures. We show that, in the average case, all three algorithms do much better than the recently established theoretical worst case results in Sandholm et al. (1999a). We also show that no one algorithm is dominant. Each algorithm’s performance is in¯uenced by the particular instance distribution, with each algorithm outperforming the others for diŒerent instances. We present a possible explanation for the behaviour of the algorithms and support our hypothesis with data collected from a controlled experimental run. K eywords: coalition structure, algorithm, multiagent systems 1.
A pricedirected approach to stochastic inventory/routing
 Operations Research
, 2002
"... informs ® doi 10.1287/opre.1040.0114 © 2004 INFORMS We consider a new approach to stochastic inventory/routing that approximates the future costs of current actions using optimal dual prices of a linear program. We obtain two such linear programs by formulating the control problem as a Markov decisi ..."
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Cited by 30 (2 self)
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informs ® doi 10.1287/opre.1040.0114 © 2004 INFORMS We consider a new approach to stochastic inventory/routing that approximates the future costs of current actions using optimal dual prices of a linear program. We obtain two such linear programs by formulating the control problem as a Markov decision process and then replacing the optimal value function with the sum of singlecustomer inventory value functions. The resulting approximation yields statewise lower bounds on optimal infinitehorizon discounted costs. We present a linear program that takes into account inventory dynamics and economics in allocating transportation costs for stochastic inventory routing. On test instances we find that these allocations do not introduce any error in the value function approximations relative to the best approximations that can be achieved without them. Also, unlike other approaches, we do not restrict the set of allowable vehicle itineraries in any way. Instead, we develop an efficient algorithm to both generate and eliminate itineraries during solution of the linear programs and control policy. In simulation experiments, the pricedirected policy outperforms other policies from the literature. Subject classifications: dynamic programming/optimal control, discounted infinitehorizon: separable functional
New Techniques for Cost Sharing in Combinatorial Optimization Games
"... Combinatorial optimization games form an important subclass of cooperative games. In recent years, increased attention has been given to the issue of finding good cost shares for such games. In this paper, we define a very general class of games, called integer minimization games, which includes the ..."
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Combinatorial optimization games form an important subclass of cooperative games. In recent years, increased attention has been given to the issue of finding good cost shares for such games. In this paper, we define a very general class of games, called integer minimization games, which includes the combinatorial optimization games in the literature as special cases. We then present new techniques, based on row and column generation, for computing good cost shares for these games. To illustrate the power of these techniques, we apply them to traveling salesman and vehicle routing games. Our results generalize and unify several results in the literature. The main underlying idea is that suitable valid inequalities for the associated combinatorial optimization problems can be used to derive improved cost shares. 1